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Issue 5 - Men behaving well (Jack and Wallace Milroy)

Whisky Magazine Issue 5
August 1999

 

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Men behaving well (Jack and Wallace Milroy)

Joanna Simon meets Jack and Wallace Milroy, single malt whisky pioneers, and finds them refusing ot live up to their reputations

I have seen the Milroy brothers as few others have. Now before you get excited, remember that Whisky Magazine is not one of those mags confined to newsagents' top shelves. All I mean is that I have seen the Milroys on their best behaviour. They turned up for our interview at the appointed times: John first, then Wallace. They wore suits. They spoke one at a time and without contradicting one another (so far as I know – John's deep gravelly-voiced Scottish accent can sometimes be a tad hard to catch). And, though it was well after breakfast and we were in the lounge of the London's Athenaeum Hotel – renowned for its range of malt whiskies – they drank coffee and orange juice. They are better known for long nights over many drams.

Perhaps I should have led the way by knocking back a dram or two of Lagavulin. I had heard that this was Wallace's desert island malt. But could I get him to say this, or even to commit himself to naming an all-time favourite or even a much loved everyday brand? I could not. He and John, or Jack as he is usually known, have their own whisky business to bear in mind.

The current one, now that they no longer own the famous whisky emporium Milroys of Soho, involves sourcing and bottling old and rare malts for corporate anniversaries under The Milroy Brothers label, and, according to Jack's business card, sourcing casks ‘for “fun” investment'. Jack is visibly excited at the mention of some hogsheads he has recently bought of Banff, an East ...

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