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Issue 62 - The roots of home

Whisky Magazine Issue 62
March 2007


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The roots of home

Dave uses four whiskies,the Washington cityscape and some stunning photography on a Celtic heritage trail

“Ah want to thank you, sir.” He has clearly enjoyed himself. “Ah never enjoyed Scotch before tonight - very much a bourbon man [‘brrrbn' was barked in the correct American fashion] – but now ah do; and sir ah would like to offer you a job.” This takes me aback somewhat.

Few people have ever offered me employment. Fewer still on the back of a whisky tasting. “Er... thanks?” I reply. The idea of relocating to Washington DC was never on the career plan, but come to think of it there was never much of a career plan in the first place, a careering plan perhaps.

“Yes sir, “ he says. “I can see you would be a great car salesman. Here's my card. If you ever fall on hardtimes you just give me a call and I'll get you selling Jagooars and Land-Rovers.” With that, he was gone.

His place is taken by the genealogist for the Clan MacLaren, bemoaning the lack of Scottish members coming forward to be DNA tested. This doesn't surprise me. What self-respecting Scot would want to find out that he might be ... English? We create our own history.

“I am Scottish, don't you question it.” We're dismissive.

Meanwhile the audience is looking for roots, DNA, an anchor to grasp hold of, some sense of deeper belonging.

I was too, after two hours sharing a Washington DC stage with photographer Jim Richardson, who had invited me to cover the liquid part of an evening celebrating ‘Whisky Country' at National Geographic HQ. I'd finished my piece with a few lines from Kennet...

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