Whisky Magazine Issue 42
This article is 8 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.
Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2013. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.
Fake whisky bottles appear in most markets of the world. But as Erkin Touzmohamedov reports, there are some bizarre ones in Egypt
When Moses went to Egypt (to let his people go), he'd hardly have imagined that this land's inventors would give the world ‘water of life'. It is generally considered that Alexandria's alchemists passed the knowledge of distillation – i.e. the production of alcohol – to Europe. Alas, Islam's holy book the Koran prohibits the internal use of alcohol. But in recent years with the huge influx of western tourists into Egypt, especially the Red Sea towns of Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Dahab – favoured by divers from all over the world, the situation is changing.
Being a diver I've watched these towns grow for the last 10 years. I come to the Red Sea for diving once or twice a year. It's not because I am part of the idle rich – for Russians one week in a four star hotel, all inclusive, will be anything from $150 to $750 per person depending upon the season including flights – quite reasonable, yeah?
And I've been watching local whiskies as they appear. I mean watching; I'm mostly sure these drinks are not for oral use, although some of the labels say they are ‘for beverage'. I am more of a collector of those artefacts, than an oral consumer.
The first whisky I spotted in Egypt was in Dahab six years ago, and it was a fantastic product called Jhoni Walker Red Table complete with figure of a striding man and in a bottle resembling the world-famous square one.
A year later the line of Egyptian whiskies grew to include more variations of Johnnie Wal...