Whisky Magazine Issue 48
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David Gardener of Nickolls and Perks in Stourbridge has big plans for whisky. Richard Jones reports
There's history and there's history. Many retailers can boast of an illustrious past but when Nickolls and Perks first opened for business in 1797, the Bank of England had just issued its first one pound note, Horatio Nelson had lost an arm fighting the Spanish and John Adams was about to succeed George Washington as President of the United States.
“We've always sold whisky since I've been involved,” begins David Gardener, who along with father David and brother Will currently own and manage the store. “But it's only in the past three years that it's really taken off.”
Situated in the historic West Midlands town of Stourbridge, Nickolls and Perks is mainly known as a wine merchant, although for many years it operated as a public house.
“The local community has become increasingly interested in whisky and spirits,” he continues. “And we've grown our range from around 50 to more than 400 bottlings to reflect this demand.”
According to David Gardener, the retail business is founded on their regular whisky tastings, held the last week of every month. “We believe there's no better way to encourage a passion for whisky than by tasting the product in the company of the people who make it,” David explains.
“We actively seek out whiskies with character, balance and structure, and when customers sample them for themselves (in Nickolls and Perk's own 17th Century vaulted cellars), they seem to like what we offer. Springbank 10 year old at £23.45 is our most ...