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Issue 59 - Scotching the myth

Whisky Magazine Issue 59
October 2006


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Scotching the myth

The concept of whisky and food has come a long way in recent years. Dominic Roskrow charts its progress

A couple of years ago The Guardian newspaper in Britain reviewed Whisky Magazine alongside a selection of British wine magazines.

The fact that the female journalist bracketed a whisky title in with a group of wine ones says a great deal in itself – I have long maintained that wine and whisky don't mix – but it was clear from her words that she was clearly a wine snob.

In the first place she couldn't understand at all how we might include a literature column within the magazine. But worst still, she considered the notion that whisky might make a good accompaniment to food as nothing short of preposterous.

Our general reaction to such a Luddite view has always been amusement, but it illustrates just how alien the idea of whisky and food was outside a very elite group of enthusiasts.

Even those charged with growing the interest in whisky through the promotion of innovative marketing ideas such as the concept of whisky with food could see the difficulties with it. Not just for the diner being invited to consume a strong spirit with food either, but from the whisky lover, too, appalled at the idea of ‘dumbing down' the whisky drinking experience.

“Drinking malt whisky while eating opposes all received wisdom and the very idea may elicit a disapproving response from many who are connoisseurs of the distillers' art,” stated Nicholas Morgan, Diageo's marketing director for premium malt whiskies some years back. “Yet we believe that it is vital to keep an open mind i...

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