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Issue 64 - Rock to drink to

Whisky Magazine Issue 64
June 2007


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Rock to drink to

What would make the ultimate whisky rock album? Rocky McCabe dreams up the perfect compilation

If you were of a mind to write off the better part of a day, it would be fun to grab a bottle of something rather splendid, head off with some pals, and while away an afternoon, evening and night considering how our old friend whisk(e)y gets treated in the arts.

See it's my view that on British television at least, malt has come out of the gutter and has started reaching for the stars.

In the recent and quite wonderful series Life On Mars in which a new Millennium police officer travels back to the politically incorrect Sweeney-like days of the 1970s, whisky is thrown down the neck by overweight chain-smoking bigots.

Traditionally whisky was portrayed as a lifeline to the needy, lonely and desperate.

Not any more. Now Rebus is a fully paid up Highland Park fan club member, Judge John Deed and his ilk share a malt in Chambers, and it is often the drink of choice when television characters meet up in the most stylish and exquisite style bars and restaurants.

Does the image remake extend to film? To some extent, yes.

Malt has made a reappearance in Bond movies as author Ian Fleming had intended, Judi Dench's character in the films has a whisky decanter in her office, and Bill Murray took an affectionate look at Japanese whisky in Lost In Translation.

So far, so good. But what about music?

Oh dear.

It seems that over the years only bluesmen, country singers and heavy rock stars have paid tribute to our favourite tipple.

When they do, it's to blame it for their woes, or ...

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