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Issue 9 - A malt for all moods (Lord Thurso)

Whisky Magazine Issue 9
April 2000

 

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A malt for all moods (Lord Thurso)

Jane Slade talks to Lord Thurso, a Patron of the Qaich, about his family, his castle and his long love affair with Scotch.

It seems a contradiction that the chief executive of one of the smartest health farms in Britain should be a whisky lover. Not only that but when he makes his three-minute trek home from his office at the carrot juice and lettuce emporium of Champneys in deepest Hertfordshire to his cottage in the grounds, he immediately rips off his suit and tie and pours himself a generous dram of The Famous Grouse.
“As an apéritif it is hard to beat,” he declares defensively. Such is his devotion to the blend that he buys it in two-litre bottles from his local
off-licence.

Lord Thurso is a likeable character who has beguiled not only big business but also Fleet Street journalists who love waxing lyrical about his extraordinary resemblance to the missing peer Lord Lucan. “They have christened me the Lucan look-a-like laird,” Thurso explains, adding that no matter how irritating he finds the comparison, he will never be persuaded to shave off his luxuriant moustache.

Unlike the disgraced peer who disappeared after allegedly murdering his children's nanny, Lord Thurso is, in contrast, a devoted family man and businessman, dividing his life between his health farm in England and his semi-ruined castle in Scotland. He sits on countless committees and organisations both sides of the border, and holds many presidencies. To name but two, he is the current chairman of the celebrated annual International Wine and Spirits Competition and a Patron of the Quaich – an exclusive organisatio...

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