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Issue 52 - Special finishing school

Whisky Magazine Issue 52
November 2005


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Special finishing school

Whisky Magazine and The Glenlivet hosted a readers' round table in London. In the first half we asked about wood finishes and innovations

Dominic Roskrow - Editor, Whisky Magazine

The participants
Pieter Badenhorst (PB) - Teacher,Waltham Cross
Svat Buchlovsky (SB) - Consultant, Basingstoke
Brendon Humphreys (BH) - Development manager, Loughton
Ian Kendal (IK) - Teacher, Loughton, Essex
Barry King (BH) - Retired, Cheltenham
Rae Sorensen (RS) - National account manager, Bristol
Steen Sorensen (SS) - Buyer, Bristol

Q: Are wood finishes and other innovations a good thing for whisky or are they to its detriment?

BK: I think most would agree that new ideas are a way of attracting younger drinkers, but I think that some of innovations can run the risk of confusing the issue, and you could argue that they are degrading the good name of whisky.

SS:Yes, but the whisky companies have to hold their audience and need to experiment, by using woods and that sort of thing. When I meet people who say they don't like whisky, I will often say to them to try something different and they find they like it. This is what consumer taste is all about; it is knowing what you like and finding something that suits you. Wood changes the characteristics of whisky completely and this might not be to our particular taste. But this could be something that attracts a younger audience. However I think that financial discounts is an easier way as well – making whisky affordable to a younger audience.

IK: What really confuses things is the term whisky. It is one word covering such a large range of different tastes and it makes it v...

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