Whisky Magazine Issue 78
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I have been reading this great book recently about hunting down the true empty, wild places in the United Kingdom.
The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane is a really engaging and thought provoking read.
The author talks about collecting stones, feathers and pieces of wood as memory markers of his time in the isolated places of our realm.
I know I have a similar habit of coming home from a trip or a walk with a stone. There is one next to me on my desk from a beach near Springbank, and I carry a little polished black piece of jet in my riding jacket left on my pillow at a hotel in Toronto.
I am certain that our own Dave Broom is a bit of a stone gatherer too, but I started to think the other night whether this could be applied to malts.
You often find that people are converted or always remember that special dram they have had at the distillery and how it never really tastes the same anywhere else.
But for me I think that the little collection of distilled, crafted genius in the glass can act in a similar way to these stone memory markers I pick up.
So there I was sat in the middle of a packed sports bar in Detroit airport letting the caressing waves of a Laphroaig Quarter Cask wash me back to my trip to the distillery, and the moment when master distiller John Campbell opened the kiln door...oh all the sweet peated smoke, and the aroma as I was invited to chuck another piece through those heavy iron doors into the maelstrom.
Similarly sitting in a crowded and painfully ...