Whisky Magazine Issue 53
This article is 10 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.
Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2016. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.
When you think of poker, what is the dominant image before you?
I ask because when we were discussing the cover story, one of the team talked of smoke-filled rooms, male only events where the players wore open-necked shirts and played all night, the stakes rising at the same pace as the tension – a grim, potentially violent world where no one trusted each other and the aim was not just to win but to win and live to tell the tale.
I didn't see that at all. I saw Vegas, Bond, glitter and glamour. On reflection, though, my colleague had a case – and way back every other grainy black and white Western had a card school where the players slugged whiskey and eyed each other suspiciously.
How does an image change so much? Who did the makeover?
In the case of gambling – or social gaming as the new spinsters would have it – it's because of the acceptance of online gambling and televised poker. Big business has reinvented a grubby pastime based on greed and the irrational pursuit of wealth literally against the odds to make a lot of money.
But the image whisky has similarly been transformed these past few months, too, and it's good for all of us.
Quite why or how it happened I don't know, but I still find it odd to go in to the main gift section of a High Street store and see whisky tasting sets there. I am amazed at how many times you see a whisky bottle – normally a good malt – on British television. And these days it's the drink of choice for the judge or chief of ...