Welcome to my new blog. I am hoping that this becomes a useful resource over time, and will welcome suggestions or requests in the comments section.
Firstly, an introduction to myself. My name is Mark, and I do not promise to be a total ‘expert’ on the subject of Single Malt Whisky, and also do not expect to hit the heights of such folk as Michael Jackson or Charles Maclean. However, I have been enjoying the ‘water of life’ since the age of 18 and continue to expand my experiences with this amazing beverage. It is those experiences that I would like to share as this blog evolves.
My original introduction to Scotch was from an employer of mine, Russell Abbott – the owner of a local milk delivery company in Rushden, England -where I worked weekends doing milk delivery. His tipple was Bells Extra Special blended scotch whisky, and he quickly introduced me to the taste. Of course, first impressions were not good to my young and inexperienced palette and beer or lager continued to be my main drink of choice, but I did occasionally enjoy a wee dram at that time.
Shortly after that, I started working part time at a local Working Men’s Club serving drinks at the bar. It was here that my appreciation for Whiskey started up. You may have noticed the change in spelling, which of course was deliberate. The stewardess at the time (I forget her name now – sorry) enjoyed Jameson and soon got me back on track to appreciating the golden spirit. At that time I enjoyed Jamesons but preferred Scotch to the sweeter flavours of Irish Whiskey. I branched out into a few different Single Malt Whiskys – mostly the likes of Glenfiddich, Macallan and Glenmorangie – and lost some of the fear instilled in me by the rougher flavours of blended whiskys.
Moving onto a few years later, around the time I left University, a few factors really sparked my interest in single malts.
Firstly, I got married for the first time. While the marriage did not lost too long, a few memories of our vacation in the highlands of Scotland continued on. Even to this day my favourite Speyside whisky is Aberlour, thanks to a visit to the town of the same name in the new year of 1995.
Sometime not too long after that, I revisited Scotland with 3 of my old school friends when we basically looped around the country visiting distilleries, pubs, and restaurants. Particularly good memories come from a stay in Oban, including an evening in a small pub (that must have had over 400 different whiskys to choose from) and a tour of the Oban distillery. Another enjoyable tour was of the Dalwhinnie distillery, which has the highest altitude of any Scottish distillery.
Around the same time a work colleague,”Big Ian”, was also a fan of the single malts. We would spend many an evening after work in Newcastle surprising each other with a new whisky from the bar and testing each other to identify the region, age and/or producer.
All of these events evolved into a great love of everything Single Malt, and a deep appreciation of the influence that the Scottish people, geography and techniques have on the exquisite flavours of a good single malt whisky. Since those times I have continued to try new brands and attempt to bring friends into the fold with varying levels of success.
Over the course of the next few months I hope to add a catalog of the single malts that I have been enjoying lately and adding tasting notes as much as possible. I’ll also be writing posts on my take on some of the important aspects of the relationship between Scotland and the magical drink it produces. Once again, let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for content and I’ll do my best to provide it.