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Issue 53 - Heather, honey and whisky's future

Whisky Magazine Issue 53
January 2006


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Heather, honey and whisky's future

Jamie Forbes is Albannach's young, gifted and enthusiastic bar manager, and he's bringing malt whisky to a younger audience. Rob Allanson spoke to him

As he settles into one of Albannach's comfortable sofas, and talks to you about his passion for whisky, you realise that the future of whisky is safe in this 22-year-old Scotman's hands.

Jamie Forbes is fast becoming whisky's crusader with his innovative cocktails and enthusiasm for the spirit.

Customers at London's Albannach restaurant, overlooking the historic Trafalgar Square, can be certain that this gifted bar manager will be able to guide them through the web of more than 130 whiskies on offer to find something to suit their palate.

Jamie, who hails originally from Edinburgh, takes on an ambassadorial role as part of his position at the restaurant.

He says: “The idea is to make whisky more central in the market. I really want to dispel this image that whisky is an old man's drink and the myths that it has to be drunk a certain way with certain things.

“Really you can drink it any way you want, and with the rise of cocktails you can do what you like with it too.

“It is great to work with whisky here. It is easy to talk to people enthusiastically about some thing that you enjoy, and hopefully this is what comes across from behind the bar.” Despite pushing the boundaries of whisky cocktails, Jamie's firm favourite tipple still remains a good dram of Lagavulin 16-year-old.

Jamie's passion for the water of life started at university where he took a part time job with his brother at Rick's Bar in Edinburgh.

Sharing with his brother, as he puts it ‘you always...

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