Whisky Magazine Issue 94
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Our man visits a glorious Wiltshire whisky outposts
So where do you buy yours?
We all have our preferences, that corner of retail heaven where parting with money is much less of a chore than when faced with the horror of a supermarket.
In spite of the fact supermarkets are where most whisky is sold; most of us do have a very personal relationship with an independent whisky specialist. Somewhere we feel at home and loved, where the bottle we choose is so much more than just a barcode.
Like so many of the best things in life Arkwrights shouldn't work.
Highworth is north of Swindon, a lovely little market town which regards itself as the Gareway to the Cotswolds. As Swindon grew in the 60s and 70s so did Highworth.
Indeed Arkwrights is classical late 20th century housing that you drive past. Surely a mistake. On entering that feeling of ‘Is this is?' is not abated. The basics of life surround you. Newspapers, bacon, milk, eggs. Then you notice there is whisky everywhere!!
That such a schizophrenic shop works is testament to two rather special people, Ken & Fran Thomas.
After a career in farming Ken moved into retailing, in 1991 he bought the current shop in Highworth and set about reviving what was a run down newsagents and general store. Ken already had more an interest in the wines and beers stocked. The range expanded as Ken progressed first through his W. S. E. T. exams. It was while studying for the Diploma that Ken discovered a hidden passion for whisky, and single malts in particular. Numerous trips to visit disti...