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Issue 55 - Fully committed

Whisky Magazine Issue 55
April 2006


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Fully committed

How do you guarantee customers will love your whisky? Get them to do the selection for you, that's how.Richard Jones joins the Earl Grey Whisky Committee in Leek, Staffordshire, for a night of conversation, whisky and dubious decor.

Committees don't enjoy the best of reputations. In little more than 30 seconds on the internet I managed to come up with following musings on the subject: “Committee - a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done”; “A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled; “A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours”; and “To get something done a committee should consist of no more than three people, two of whom are absent.”

But a whisky committee? Now that sounds like a whole lot more fun.

The Earl Grey Whisky Committee is the brainchild of David Wood, owner of The Wine Shop in Leek, Staffordshire. Despite the name of his shop David is a huge whisky fan and decided he didn't just want to stock the same whiskies as everyone else, so he launched his own Queen of the Moorlands range.

But what makes it unique is the way the whiskies are selected.

“The idea for the Earl Grey Whisky Committee began when we took a few customers on a trip to Islay,” David observed. “I was looking to put together some rare cask bottlings and it made sense to get everyone to taste the various samples with me. The idea of a committee just grew from there.”

The EGWC gets together whenever David needs to introduce some new whiskies to his range, typically every few months or so, and tonight, Matthew, I had been invited along as an honorary member.

I was warned about the Earl Grey Inn in ...

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