experts This year we have worked with 2 industry experts to bring you great whisky advice
Miss Whisky: I fell for whisky in 2008. Like the best of love affairs, it came out of the blue – but when it did, oh how I tumbled. The smells, the tastes, the places it’s made, the people that surround the spirit – all are entrancing. And now I love sharing my experiences with others, to show that whisky doesn’t only fit into the stereotypes that have been set for it in the past. It can be fun, beguiling, for summer or winter, for drinking by the fire or at a rooftop party. Play around with whisky, attend a tasting where you can sample a variety or pick up a random bottle next time you’re in the airport. Each of our palates is different and when I host tastings I always say to people the most important thing is whether or not you enjoy it. Does it make you think of bygone times? Does it make you smile? Does it make you want to gather your friends and have a laugh? If so, then great. Whisky makes moments matter more and I hope you find some to love as much as I do.
Charles Maclean: I have been researching and writing about whisky for over thirty years, and during this time have published over a dozen books about Scotch. I also travel a lot, presenting tastings and talking about whisky – 23 countries last year – and I became a film-star in 2012 when I played a whisky expert in Ken Loach’s feature film, ‘The Angels Share’ (it won the Jury Prize at Cannes). I was trained in whisky tasting by the Scotch Whisky Research Institute in 1992 and am often asked ‘how whisky should best be enjoyed?’ For simple enjoyment, drink it as you like – with or without water, ice, mixers; in cocktails – but for full appreciation there are simple guide-lines. First use a glass which allows you to consider the whisky’s aroma. Second, feel free to add a little still water (this opens up the aroma and makes it more comfortable to taste). Third, don’t add ice: this closes down the aroma. Fourth, take your time, share with friends – and enjoy!