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Issue 5 - From the Editor

Whisky Magazine Issue 5
August 1999


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From the Editor

It is always instructive to place matters in their historial perspective, and this is as true for whisky as for other matters.

The whisky trade has always been good at reinventing or forgetting its past. In this issue of Whisky Magazine we learn how Clan Campbell (the brand) has cleverly exploited its tenuous connection with Clan Campbell (the family) and become, in a startlingly short time, one of the leading blended whiskies in Europe. Having made the connection, both family and brand were delighted when the earliest known whisky artefact, a distiller's worm, was discovered in the cellar of a Campbell castle. Concrete evidence.

Malt whisky is now so fashionable that it is easy to imagine that ‘twas ever thus. We are reminded by Jack and Wallace Milroy that there were only four single malts generally available when they opened their famous shop in Soho in the mid-Sixties. The whisky companies, whose fortunes were founded on blended whisky, were simply not interested in making single malts available to a wider public. Interestingly, those malts which were available sold for 50/- (£2.50) a bottle; standard blends retailed at 45/- (£2.25), which makes one wonder why there is such a price differential today.

When Tom Bruce-Gardyne peers at Tobermory Distillery on the Isle of Mull through the glass of history, he discovers that the place was decommissioned between 1930 and 1972, then open for only four years, then worked only occasionally until Burn Stewart bought it in ...

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