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Issue 70 - January's blue eyes

Whisky Magazine Issue 70
February 2008


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January's blue eyes

Davetakes a look at the United Kingdom market and finds himself wondering if the glass is half full or half empty

The middle of January, when this is being hacked out, is apparently the most depressing time of the year. While at no point wishing to conform to stereotypical behaviour patterns, I can see why. The bills are coming, the ground is sodden with endless rain, the days are still reluctant to lengthen, resolutions have been broken. As I write, the stock market is plummeting and economists have switched from debating whether there will be a recession to how bad it will be, something which might temper some of the more hysterical predictions of future sales of Scotch.

I can almost imagine the hedge fund managers cradling a Scotch as their worlds collapse. As my friend Matthew says, whisky is one of those drinks which seems to taste better when you feel bitter. It's something about the sting of alcohol being in tune with the melancholy of the soul.

You want me to paint a picture? Go out and buy Frank Sinatra's No One Cares which is about as perfect a title for a January album as you could possibly wish. Look at the cover.

It shows Frank sitting at a bar cradling a whisky. What else could it be? A Martini wouldn't have had the same look, brandy would be just wrong, Champagne also, beer would be too lacking in impact. Ye gods, the man's down.

He's gazing into a half-empty glass (it would never be half-full, would it?) when around him are couples laughing. He's walked through rainslicked night streets and can't even be bothered to remove his hat and buttoned-up trench-coat.

The par...

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