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Issue 42 - Hard to put a figure on it...

Whisky Magazine Issue 42
September 2004

 

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Hard to put a figure on it...

I'm not one for snobbery, pretentiousness or elitism. Can't stand it. But if I've learned anything over the last few years it's that you get what you pay for and that quality comes at a cost.

I'm not one for snobbery, pretentiousness or elitism. Can't stand it. But if I've learned anything over the last few years it's that you get what you pay for and that quality comes at a cost.

Let me explain; before I arrived here I spent 10 years working away from home and dragging a travel bag – my brother called it my sad bag – to a plethora of cheap hotels. And I mean cheap. The sort that attracted migrant workers from the north of England by the van-load, who in turn attracted a flock of very accommodating women.

At one hotel the payphone had four pre-programmed buttons: one for a taxi company, two for takeaway delivery services, and one for pest control. I kid you not.

I have come to believe that cost has little to do with anything and value for money, everything. People don't mind paying if it's worthwhile, it's being ripped off that bothers them.

This is obviously very much the case in the world of whisky, where aficionados appreciate the time and effort that goes in to producing quality whisky and rightfully get affronted when some conman fakes it.

The appreciation of value was brought home to me dramatically on two separate occasions recently.

The first was a whisky dinner held in the cellars of the offices of Berry Brothers & Rudd in St Jame's, London. At £75 a ticket ($130) I thought it might be too expensive. The evening was, though, a total delight and one of those never to be forgotten occasions where price doesn't come in to it.

It's a stunning sett...

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