Probably the most popular question I ever get asked. Why whisky? Out of all the drinks to chose from why whisky?
Well. Why not?
My first dalliance with the water of life came at the age of 18 . Pint and a dram for a fiver scrawled in chalk on the blackboard behind the bar. Being a poor university student; I knew when I’d found a bargain, I wasn’t after tasting the subtle nuances of this fine spirit. Wednesday night was student night and I wanted to get merry. One pint of Deuchars IPA and a single measure of Highland Park 12. My first scotch whisky. I’d love to be all romantic about it and said I had an epiphany there and then and the ghost of Michael Jackson (the legendary whisky guru, not the moon-walking, single-glove wearing, blaming-it-on-the boogieing musical superstar) appeared to me through the smoke-filled haze of the tap room and told me to make a new start on this path to whisky enlightenment.
Except he didn’t. The Highland Park disappeared quicker than well, a Highland Park age statement has over the last few years. Straight down the gullet.
But 20 year old me decided to give it a proper crack of the whip. the £5 dram and pint deal had been serving me well but my curiosity about whisky got me thinking. Could I buy a bottle to actually drink at home? It’d have to be cheap and it was. My first bottle of single malt scotch whisky was Penderyn Maderia cask for the princely sum of £20. Yes that’s right. My first single malt scotch whisky wasn’t even scotch at all. It was Welsh.
Now I know what you are thinking dear reader; this man has so far just necked his scotch and had that much intelligence about what he was buying he bought a Scottish whisky that wasn’t even Scottish. All very true, but we all have to start somewhere. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m a perfect example of what it is to be a scotch drinker in the 21st century because I’m really not. But I’ve experienced many a dram many a bar and many a distillery and I’d really love to tell you all about it if you’ll have me. So 10 years on from my Welsh whisky experience, lets enjoy some great whisky experiences together. Slainte!