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Issue 41 - The ‘quaiching' of a President

Whisky Magazine Issue 41
July 2004


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The ‘quaiching' of a President

Michael Jackson recalls his part in Ron's downfall

Fulsome though they were, the tributes to President Reagan omitted one of his greatest services to humanity. He was a Keeper of the Quaich. Not many people know that.

I played a small part in this but am not sure what, how or why. I suspect my contribution was comparable to that of Spike Milligan in the winning of World War II. Historians deconstructing Whisky Magazine in search of the Real Reagan will nonetheless wish to know about his quaich.

Aquaich is a silver saucer, with two handles. It is used to serve whisky, in places like Morningside. The Keepers are people held in especially high regard by the whisky industry. They are charged with the care of whisky, as symbolised by the quaich.

I was made a Keeper some years ago, and elevated more recently to become a Master of the Quaich. These honours mean a great deal to me in that they recognise my efforts to explain the joys of whisky to a wider world.

I was nominated as a keeper by Pernod Ricard. It seems that President Reagan was proposed by the whole industry. I wonder which whisky he preferred?

I am going to guess Chivas Regal. Everyone in the film industry drinks Chivas. I first noticed this during my own Hollywood years. Well, months. Actually, weeks.

Agreat Scot was indirectly responsible for my being in Hollywood – David Ogilvy, the world's most famous advertising man.

His agency had hired me to work on a radio campaign for a beer. I was told that the commercials would be recorded in Los Angeles.

The record...

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