Whisky Magazine Issue 93
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Isabel Graham-Yooll is a key driving force behind one of the world's most iconic whisky shops. Dominic Roskrow
hen Isabel Graham-Yooll says she has a golden rule never to start tasting whisky before 8.30am she isn't joking.
Tasting is what she does – and she's very good at it. But great as her job obviously sounds, it requires a large amount of skill and a considerable amount of hard work. Every day she is faced with scores of whisky samples and one of her roles is to seek out that special one in a 1000 cask which when bottled will play its part in ensuring the enduring legacy of Milroy's of Soho, one of the world's most famous whisky shops.
“We have a range of single cask bottlings and much of my time is spent searching for ones which are suitable,” she says.
“We do get offered hundreds of casks and in truth most are passable, some are good, and occasionally we spot something which we think has got just the right balance and that's when we decide to bottle it.
“I buy whiskies for Milroy's of Soho and also make a selection for (parent company) Jeroboams. We don't stock every whisky ever made so I work with the sales team to make a group decision as to what we want to sell. We hold some great whisky tastings down in our cellar.
“We also have a website and so some of the rest of my time is spent trying to add content to it.” If ever there was an example of how the traditional world of whisky is embracing the future, Isabel and Milroy's of Soho is it. A shop steeped in history and tradition and with the potential to intimidate the modern customer because of its potenti...