His experience in the industry began in Ireland at the age of 18 in hotels, before travelling the world to work in bars across New Zealand, Canada and Australia, including Black Pearl and Whisky & Alement, which boasted a back bar of a thousand malts, before ending up in Scotland with Devil's Advocate. There Alan spent time travelling around Scotland, talking all things whisky, with a lot of time spent in Islay.
After that period in Scotland, it was time to head to Mexico in order to help open up a dedicated tequila and agave bar that championed smaller brands. It was here that he was part of a team listed on the Tales of the Cocktail best new bars in the Americas.
Clearly it has been a very interesting journey that has led Alan back to Ireland to work with the new team at Roe & Co.
21 Years Old, The Old Particular
This whisky for me was simply incredible, all the killer flavour notes of Craigellachie that you would expect, but dialled up to 11. Tropical fruit, malic-y and juicy. If I’m going to die alone on a desert island, I may as well do it drinking a whisky that is as on point as this one.
10 Years Old
Well I am definitely going to need something to wash my teeth with in the morning and what better than the world’s most versatile whisky, Talisker 10; this to me is a true triumph of the everyday whisky category. It's moreish, salt laden and with that gentle cadence of smoke, I don't think that I could ever get tired of it.
13 Years Old, Peated, Cadenheads
I picked this bottle up at auction a couple of years ago and I was completely blown away by it. It has smoke in spades to accompany that rich Cooley cereal character, it was absolutely stellar. Those orchard fruit notes that are fairly indicative of Irish whiskey were there too, I got that bottle at a time when I hadn’t been back home in a long time and it was truly a special thing to enjoy.
The Last Vatted Malt
A lot of these whiskies are based on memorable times in my life really and this is no exception. When I went to work with Whisky and Alement in Australia, this whisky caught my eye to the point of near obsession to try it. I saved my week's tips and bought a dram for myself and Kelvin who was working that shift with me for our knock-offs – we paired a ridiculously high ABV stout with it as well. It was heaven and I wish it still existed.
This thing, at a stonking 68.4% ABV, seared whisky into my heart and soul from the very first sip of it. A mixture of old Lark spirit and some other Tasmanian powerhouses. Tim Duckett is without doubt a blender of the highest quality, with a pinch of mania that I can identify with and admire. From beating his vats with an oar, to the naming of his bottles and obviously the sheer quality of his products. This is probably the whisky I would drink as the sun set on my whisky-swept time on my tiny island, cursing the fact that I finally had a tan and there was no one around to see it.
A brief final luxury
I actually don’t know if this sort of thing even exists, but I think that it would have to be something solar powered that I could link up to my Spotify account and listen to music. I have to say, I would be completely lost without music in my life. I suppose that if I was forced to choose just one album, it would probably be the self-titled album by Queens of the Stone Age. That right there is the ultimate desert island listening. Maybe I could finally learn to dance – rhythm is hard.