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Issue 42 - Here'stogrumpyoldmen...

Whisky Magazine Issue 42
September 2004

 

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Here'stogrumpyoldmen...

Thismonth'sguestwriterismarketanalystTomStinson

AtManchesterPiccadillyrailwaystationtheyhaveturnedtheareaoutsideplatform13and14intowhattheylaughinglydescribeasalounge.

Theconcreteandglassareahasbeenfittedwithseatsandsomethighhighslopingmetalbarswhichyou'remeanttoleanon.There'saCostaCoffeeandaWHSmiths,andatthetopendthere'saneondigitaldisplayinformingyouabouttrainarrivalswhicheveryonestaresatgormlessly.

Andthis‘lounge'hasillusionsofgrandeur.Itthinksit'sinanairport.Sopassengersaretoldto‘waitinthelounge'untiltwominutesbeforethetrainleavesandthento‘gotodeparturegate.'Wellnotquite,butyougetthegist.

BeingthecontrarysortofpersonthatIam,IwenttomyplatformbeforeIwastoldIcouldjusttoseewhathappened.Nothingdid.Imentionallthisbecauseit'sjustonemoreexampleofhowoursocietyischanging,andfortheworse.Nevermindthatyourtraindoesn'trunontime,orthatit'sdirtyandover-crowded–atleastthere'sanicewaitingareainthestation.

That'sniceasin‘anaemic',‘sterile'and‘sanitised.'Ihavethistheorythatthereasonwhiskyissocherishedisbecauseithascometosymbolisetraditionandheritage.It'satotemunaffectedbymarkettrendsthathavecreatedglobaldrinksbrandsandhomogenousretailingopportunities.

IshoulddeclareatthispointthatIdon'tlikewhisky–oratleastnotthetasteofit.Can'tstandthestuff.ButIliketheideaofwhisky,andIcertainlylikealotofthepeoplewhodrinkit.

There'sacertainrebelliouscharmaboutthewhiskydrinkersIknow.AndtheonesIknowtendtobelikethosefeaturedintheBritishtelevisionseriesGrumpyoldMen–professionalmalesintheir40swithopinionsoneverything,acynicismonmost,andan...

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