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Issue 43 - Never mind the barley?

Whisky Magazine Issue 43
October 2004


This article is 12 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.

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Never mind the barley?

Michael Jackson goes Babbity

It is hard to believe that anyone would feel sorry for politicians, but I do. Spending as much time on the road as any party hack, I know how easy it is to become disoriented: to say how happy you are to be in Inverurie when you are actually in Inveraray.

Half the time, the reporters travelling with you to cover your tour are not sure where they are, either. An unusually conscientious journalist took the basic step of checking my cuttings in his newspaper's library. He noted that every interviewer had asked the obvious question: "What is your favourite beer/whisky?"

My reply always stresses the right beer/whisky for the moment, and I insist on nominating at least 10 or a dozen. Certain classic beers appear in every list but I am also influenced by whatever is on my mind – and I always try to find a seriously good beer that is reasonably local.
Whisky, being far less widely produced, presents difficulties – for the moment.

My heart sinks when an interviewer reminds me: "Mr. Jackson, in 1976, you wrote (blah, blah, blah ).” Ohmigod, what on earth did I say? Was I sober? Tired and emotional? Was I suffering from ‘Whisky Live in Glasgow' syndrome, which can be caused by signing 75 books, with salutations in Armenian, Bantu or Croat?

A further cause of this condition is the requirement to perform the following ritual eight times: walk round George Square, then climb five flights of stairs. Symptoms: inability to stay awake on hearing a single malt whisky described as a...

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