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Issue 65 - A passing fancy

Whisky Magazine Issue 65
July 2007


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A passing fancy

Dave delves into a glamourous world of Highland gatherings,fast drams and racy women

She sits, swathed in silks, crosslegged showing a surprising amount of leg. Her hair is styled in what I believe is called a pixie cut. In her lips is a cigarette holder which looks at least 18 inches long. Awisp of smoke wreathes around her tantalising smile. A saucy minx is Mademoiselle Spinelly. She is a cad magnet, a scoundrel seducer. Quite why her photographic portrait is in the programme for the 1927 Braemar Gathering is beyond me.

You cannot imagine such an obviously urban, not to say racy young thing, would be the sort of person who would be seeking out “jerseys for the Moor and Links” or “Marshall & Snelgrove's Knitted Three Piece Suit.” Equally, one can hardly imagine that the people who attended Braemar that year would be mixing in the same dissolute circles as Mlle. Spinelly.

Imagine if she had attended though, what an exotic frisson it would have brought to that venerable institution. I can imagine Mlle. Spinelly being hugely entertained by the Clansman's Race, Over 50, (Handicap). She might have even been persuaded to give the award to the Oldest Clansman On Parade (though the consequences could have been fatal).

It's fantasy. Mlle. Spinelly and her louche crew would have stayed in the great cities. Paris (her home), London, New York, Havana. What would she have drunk? Clearly Champagne, maybe one of the new cocktails she came across on a sojourn in Havana, but I fancy that she also sipped on the occasional Blood and Sand (that's Scotch, cherry brand...

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