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Issue 82 - The passion

Whisky Magazine Issue 82
September 2009

 

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The passion

Serge Valentin is a founder member of The Malt Maniacs and is serious about his whisky. But as we found out, he knows how to have fun with it too.

The problem with any sort of passionate hobby such as wine, art or music is that it very quickly builds up its own hierarchy, a class system dominated by over-serious knowit- alls who start dictating what is good and bad,and what is right and wrong. Normally they're right and the rest of us are wrong.

Curiously, though, whisky isn't quite like that. Oh, it has its experts, its anoraks and its zealots. As a whole, though, they're refreshingly non dictatorial. Perhaps it's the modesty of the whisky makers themselves, or the relaxed way they encourage drinkers to enjoy the spirit as they want, or even the individualistic nature of the drink, but even the most dedicated experts shy from telling us what to do and think.

Take The Malt Maniacs. Experts definitely, passionate and enthusiastic without doubt, likely to know a lot more about whisky then you and I surely, and not scared to stand up against industry fraud . And yet they're quirky, irreverent and they know how to have fun.

Serge Valentin is a great example. A Frenchman with a love of whisky, his website Whisky Fun is everything a living, breathing and dynamic hobby site should be. Lots and lots about whisky, true, but lots and lots about music, socialising and sharing experiences as well.

For Serge, the music link is a natural one.“Maybe it comes from my early days when we were sipping drams listening to some jazz or blues bands. It's all about atmosphere and feeding all our senses at the same time.

“It's also qui...

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