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Issue 41 - Let's dive in at the deep end

Whisky Magazine Issue 41
July 2004


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Let's dive in at the deep end

Only one thing: they drank my entire bottle of Laphroaig

A colleague of mine recently decided to hold a whisky tasting for some non-whisky drinking friends. He presented them with four whiskies covering a range of tastes, and when he came back to work on the Monday I asked him how it went.

“Great,” he said. “They all said they didn't like whisky at first and yet they really enjoyed themselves. Only one thing: they drank my entire bottle of Laphroaig.”

A day later Dave Robertson was telling me about the results of the tastings he had conducted for the three types of whisky in his Easy Drinking Whisky range.

A surprising number of women, he said, had chosen the smoky peaty one as their favourite – even women who said they rarely or never drank whisky. And this week a new female friend of mine announced that while she's a whisky novice she's found a dram she really likes – Lagavulin 25 year old, no less.

In fact I seem to be speaking to a lot of women at the moment who are hitting on the sort of taste profiles that at least some people seem to have assumed were beyond them.

Should we be at all surprised that more ‘extreme' flavours appeal to new or even non-whisky drinkers?

I think not. Indeed, isn't it just as probable that people who say that they don't like whisky were put off by some average standard blend they drank one night when they couldn't face another beer and were feeling a bit daring?

Certainly that was the case with me. For years I avoided the stuff. It took my mum and a bottle of Ardbeg to rekindle ...

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