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Issue 51 - Fight back now!

Whisky Magazine Issue 51
October 2005


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Fight back now!

Are whisky drinkers getting the sort of service standards they – and the product – deserves? Not according to Dominic Roskrow they're not.And enough's enough

There are a few things that really get my goat, but two of them relate to the way whisky is presented to customers in top hotels, bars and restaurants.

Number one is when a supposedly top establishment has a whisky list which is shorter than the list of strikers at Chelsea football club.

You've had a fancy meal, the sommelier has humiliated you by presenting a wine list in a book the size of the Bible, and then after dinner you opt for a whisky. And all they have is the classic malts range and an uninspiring bourbon.

How can this happen? How can someone invest millions in making an establishment a cradle of finery and luxury and then get the bar selection wrong?

I stayed in a Highland resort recently with five bars, one of which had been named ‘the whisky bar.' To me that's like calling a bar ‘the alcoholic drinks bar.' In Scotland every bar should be a whisky bar. It's a given.

It doesn't take a lot of effort to create a small and stimulating whisky list and the failure of a venue to bother offends me as much as over-attentive waiting staff, having a bloke in the toilets to hand visitors a drying towel, and the misuse of an apostophe on the specials board.

Okay so maybe I'm a bit strange, but all three give me indigestion.

The second thing that gets my back up is ordering a malt and receiving it in a tumbler.

Atumbler is wrong. We should campaign against whisky in tumblers. If you are handed whisky in a tumbler, refuse it. If it's in the United Kingdom you can pr...

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