The world of whisky in words

The world of whisky in words

Fifty quotes from 50 issues of Whisky Magazine

News | 09 Sep 2005 | Issue 50 | By Dominic Roskrow

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Issue 1 - Michael Jackson
“What we need, and should be filling into casks this very minute, is a really robust product for the consumer who is drinking Lagavulin today and wants to graduate to something more pungent tomorrow. Even if we do it today there will be nothing in bottle for quite some years.”Issue 2 - Charlie MacLean
“Old bottles of whisky (not to mention old whisky in new bottles) have been fetching good prices at Christie’s during the last five or six years, and the trend is upwards.”Issue 3 - Jim Murray
“It is time to treat Irish whiskey as an equal. But Irish whiskey makers must help. They must do away with all that rubbish about Irish being the oldest in the world, all Irish has always been triple distilled, peat has never had a place in the making of Irish whiskey, and so on.”Issue 4 - Margaret Rand
“I am a sceptic about drinking spirits with food. I’m prepared to drink them with toasted sandwiches on Eurostar, and malt whisky is more or less obligatory with haggis, but that’s as far as it goes.”Issue 5 - Angela Muir
“We owe a huge debt to excise men. Thanks to them, ageing in cask is accepted as a level playing field for the industry and no one is seriously tempted to sell stock too young.”Issue 6 - Dave Broom
“Whisky making is about rhythm,it taps in to the tempo of the seasons.”Issue 7 - Charlie Maclean
“Whisky producers have been lured in to a price war by the multiples which, although good news for us, the consumers, is disastrous for the industry generally.”Issue 8 - Richard Joynson
“Consumers look for exceptional bottles, both from producers and independent bottlers. I know there are several producers who throw a fit at the very idea of the independent bottlers. Loyalty to one brand hardly exists among malt whisky drinkers.”Issue 9 - Lord Thurso
“Malts are something you grow in to. I think a great old mature whisky should be drunk by great old mature men.”Issue 10 - Gavin D Smith
“Dewar’s has succeeded in creating the ultimate Scotch whisky visitor centre at Aberfeldy but the most memorable aspects of a visit remain the sight and sound of four copper stills in action.”Issue 11 - Jim Beveridge
“The understanding of whisky has changed dramatically during the last 20 years. What was previously magic is now science. Consumers are much better informed and want to know more. You cannot pull the wool over their eyes and there is no reason to do so.”Issue 12 - Martine Nouet
“In France you will find flasks of cheap whisky specially bottled for cooking. I would not use these even to clean my windows.”Issue 13 - Jim McEwan
“We’re losing one and a half distilleries a year. When I started there were about 120 but if it continues at this rate by the time I die we’ll be down to maybe 60… with more mergers on the horizon it will be horrendous.”Issue 14 - Gary Regan
“Whisky is a grouchy old bachelor that stubbornly insists on maintaining its independence and is seldom to be found in the marrying mood.”Issue 15 - News story
“The Scotch whisky industry has lobbied the Treasury for a four per cent duty cut on spirits at the end of January as part of their campaign for duty reform.”Issue 16 - Dr Nicholas Morgan
“Without being complacent I believe continued growth in the premium malt business is assured. Many malt ‘converts’ have not formerly drunk Scotch: their taste is informed by wine and other spirits. There is an opportunity here for all producers.”Issue 17 - Dave Broom
“Soaps are an exaggeration of real life where Scotch is the preferred tipple of loners, psychos and Thatcherite businessmen. If whisky is to be rehabilitated distillers better work on its image. Better still, we hacks should infiltrate the script-writing teams.”Issue 18 - Marcin Miller
“Cigar smoking has traditionally been allied to the consumption of Cognac, and occasionally Armagnac. Now whisky has been cast in the role of usurper.”Issue 19 - Brian Hennigan
“It’s not a surprise that most counterfeit whisky products originate in England, a country furious that the world’s premier spirit belongs to Scotland.”Issue 20 - Marcin Miller
“Scotch whisky sales have improved by two per cent in three years, bourbon sales have increased by a whopping 20 per cent. Spain has overtaken France as the biggest market for Scotch whisky, Gordon & MacPhail resurrected Benromach, Murray McDavid re-opened Bruichladdich and J&A Mitchell has bought Glengyle.”Issue 21 - John Roberts
“The Rockwell aims to bring the sophistication to bourbon that has been afforded single malts over the last two decades; it’s a complex drink with a massive range of flavours and styles.”Issue 22 - Dave Broom
“Suggesting to a Scottish distiller that you could mix their whisky as a cocktail was, until recently, a little akin to proposing that the Pope could become a director of Glasgow Rangers… but the idea of whisky cocktails is gaining credence.”Issue 23 - Iain Henderson
“If a young brewer wants to get on there’s no avenue open to him. We’re going down this avenue when everything is being written down and procedure can take the place of experience.”Issue 24 - John Ramsay
“If consumers want and like (wood finishes) then it is up to us to provide them. The (Famous Grouse) Vintage 1987 is completely sold out, and the 1989 is not far behind. All I ask is you judge them on their own merits and if you do that, I think you will be bound to conclude that they are first rate whiskies.”Issue 25 - Dave Broom
“The arrival of the top-end vatted malts suggests that this forgotten, misunderstood maverick of a category could be given a new lease of life.”Issue 26 - Dave Broom
“Independent bottlings won’t go on forever. Whiskies like Dallas Dhu and Port Ellen will have gone in a few years and they aren’t replaceable.”Issue 27 - Matin Isark
“Gordon & MacPhail will now inform customers who ask that whisky changes through oxidation just like wine.”Issue 28 - News story
“Two new distilleries are set to go in to production next year – one is Scotland’s smallest, the other, its most Northerly. The Ladybank Distillery in Fife will take a traditional and small-scale approach, while Blackwood will be the first distillery in the Shetlands.”Issue 29 - Peter Mulryan
“It is one of Ireland’s most remarkable ‘business snatched from the jaws of death’ stories. Now, in its Spring 2003 list, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is launching two new Cooley malts.”Issue 30 - Dave Broom
“We need innovation in whisky to get people who think they don’t like the taste drinking it,but most of the innovations don’t work because they don’t taste any good.”Issue 31 - Gavin D Smith
“The re-commissioning of Highland distillery Glendronach signals a welcome sea-change in the way Allied perceives and markets its range of single malts.”Issue 32 - David Stirk
“The appreciation of whisky is not scientific. To take what anyone writes about whisky as being gospel is very unwise. We are like believers in a religion. We can’t prove it is there but we keep the faith.”Issue 33 - Mike Gerrard
“This August Bruichladdich will become the first distillery to offer what must be the dram-lover’s dream: on-line whisky tastingIssue 34 - Alan Gray
“Scotch needs to reinvent itself, especially in mature markets. It should play to Scotland’s strengths, linking with golf, tweed, and Scotland’s historic houses, and cross-fertilise best practise.”Issue 35 - David Robertson
“The best analogy (for the whisky industry) for me is the South Australian wine industry. By focussing on flavour and accessible price points they have persuaded consumers to try their wines. They have educated the consumer to understand that terroir is less important than grape variety. We are trying to do the same.”Issue 36 - Ian Good
“I would be more confident that value rather than volume of whisky sales will increase. There is definitely a trend where people drink less but better.”Issue 37 - Dominic Roskrow
“What odds a collector’s market for the brown-packaged vatted Cardhu? And more interest in the repackaged brand than anyone at Diageo could ever have dreamt of? What a strange world we live in.”Issue 38 - Dave Broom
“The fetishing of age has led many firms to produce a 25 or 30 year old without apparently first sticking their nose in the barrel to see if it’s any good.”Issue 39 - Dr Nicholas Morgan
“Vatted malts can act as a good entry to the malts category for consumers who are intimidated by the complexities of premium ‘chateau malts’ and who find little relevance in the rather tired mainstream malt offerings currently on the market. They also offer a way to grow the malts segment unconstrained by the inventory problems that all distillers either are, or will be, facing.”Issue 40 - Bill Lumsden
“Wood finishes are a good thing for the Scotch whisky industry and the consumer because they offer a wide range of new flavour experiences. They’ve also helped generate some much-needed interest in the category.”Issue 41 - Michael Cockram
“This is a considerable
commitment for Allied because it would be cheaper to build a brand new distillery than to refurbish this one at Scapa.”Issue 42 - Abigail Bosanko
“It’s patronising to think women have to have everything toned down for them. It perpetuates this whole macho image that you have to be tough to try a fullbodied, heavy whisky. You don’t have to be tough, you just have to be curious.”Issue 43 - David Cox
“Aged blends will emerge stronger in the future with more exciting and innovative packaging. But watch out for vatted malts – this is where the real future lies though it will not happen overnight. The drive has to come from everybody, but we’re halfway there.”Issue 44 - Charles Cowdery
“Even though whisky isn’t as faddish as some others, it still needs news to keep people interested and involved, so I hope we see some interesting new products and imaginative ways of introducing them to the public.”Issue 45 - Jeremy Torz
“What should we do about whisky? Keep working with imaginative and visionary style bar owners,try to reach women’s writers.Push the diversity message,and try to bring whisky more into the menu.”Issue 46 - Dominic Roskrow
“The phrase blended malt Scotch whisky – or blended malts – is misleading and inappropriate because it takes the one word that was previously well-defined in all this – blends – and allows it to cross the river from the bank marked ‘malt and other grains’ to the one marked ‘just malts’”.Issue 47 - Dave Broom
“You can call a brand Floribunda’s Gusset if you want, just as long as it’s clear whether it’s a blend or a malt or a grain. At the moment it isn’t.”Issue 48 - Dale DeGroff
“The growing popularity of flavours like ginger and savoury herbs and spices make malt whiskies more attractive as a cocktail base.”Issue 49 - Mark Reynier
“My hunch is that the single malt consumer is more sophisticated and mature than the industry cares to think. We are dealing with a large sector, some of whom are traditionalists and others, increasingly, are more enlightened.”Issue 50 - John Lomond
“With distilleries such as Balmenach needing 80,000 litres of cooling water every hour for its worm tubs, water is rapidly becoming a serious issue in a warmer Scotland.”
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