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Issue 39 - Notaltogetherplainsailing

Whisky Magazine Issue 39
May 2004

 

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Notaltogetherplainsailing

TheClassicMaltsCruiseisanannualeventheldbyDiageo,formerlyGuinness-UDV.Foronepersononit,itwasacaseofsailingwiththeenemy.ButforGillianBell,theadventurewastochangeherperspectiveentirely

Givenpersonalhistoryandperceptions,IshouldhaveavoidedtheClassicMaltsCruiseliketheplague.AtwoweekboozecruisewiththeheidyensofUDV,formallyGuinness,andnowDiageo.

Itwas18yearsagothatErnestSaunders'Guinnesssentintheheaviestokneecapmyfather,ArthurBell.Hewasmarketingafinewhiskywithhisownsignatureonthelabel.

ButasLordClydepronounced,“Amanhasaninalienablerighttotradeunderhisownname,”atriumphforsmallbusiness,DavidandGoliathrepeated.AndArthurlivedtotradeanotherday.

Unfortunatelythekneecappingcamelaterfromaverydifferentsource,butthat'snotmystorytotell.

Sowhythenshouldthedaughterofa‘whiskyrebel',who'saprofessionalinmarketing,takeajobcookingonacorporateyachtcharter?Havingasomewhatcynicalviewofthecorporateculture,I'dneverheardoftheClassicMaltsCruise,nevercookedonaboat,doneonlyalittlesailing,andonlytalkedwithmynewemployeronthephone.

Butfatehasamysteriouswayofweavingherweb,andthiswebstretchesaroundtheworldandhaschangedmyownopinions.

IfelloutwithScotlandacoupleofyearsback,foranumberofpersonal,familyandbusinessreasons.SoIpackedmybagsandfleditsshoreswithaviewtofindinganewhomesomewhereintheworld.

ThroughoutCanada,theStatesandevenSamoa(restingplaceofRobertLouisStevenson),Imetanumberofdisillusionedexpatsandenjoyed(onoccasion)theodddramwhilereminiscingaboutourCaledonianmotherlandandwhywe'dfeltforcedaway.

OnmytravelsIdiscoveredNewZealand.Paradise;Scotlandwithoutthehistoryandamuchbetterclimate.

InmysecondweekinthecountryIlandedajobwithAmericanExpress(I'mnotscaredofcorporatism).TheLouisV...

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