If I am interested in any hobby, sport or interest I will always (sometimes to the annoyance of those I am talking to) encourage others to try similar ideas, ideals and activities. I don’t do this because I feel everyone should do the same things as I do; that would make for a very boring world. I do it because I am passionate about these things and want to share some of that passion with others; hopefully I might also inspire some passion in them. In my time I have encouraged people towards (in no particular order) photography, cricket, climbing, Scotland, reading, hill walking, video games, arguing, cooking (especially recently `molecular gastronomy’), eating, politics, cinema, badminton and many many more. There is nothing here I would ever dissuade anyone from, nor is there anything, bar possibly bigotry and incest, that I would ever try to talk anyone out of. However, I am also aware that my passion itself can sometimes be off putting in its own right, giving too much information, diving too fast into details utterly beyond necessity and being generally slightly overbearing. I am, however, deeply confused when people seek my decision on either the right ideas to pursue, the best plan to follow any activity, or the correct way to enjoy something. If I can inspire interest then I am happy, but I would not want to dictate the way to enjoy oneself.
I went to the University of Glasgow, while there I developed a taste for the uisque beatha, the water of life. I would certainly never call myself a whisky expert, buff or snob. I enjoy it for what it is, I enjoy perusing the websites and blogs available and gleaning titbits and nuggets of information, some to keep, most to share. On the whole they are helpful, insightful and clearly knowledgable. My issue is more with the whisky etiquette content. I do not like to be told that the only way to taste (or indeed ‘nose’) whisky is to use the recommended glass (available at the advertised retailer), to swish in a side to side motion, never swirl, to inhale deeply and swill around the mouth for as many seconds as years that the whisky has been in the barrel; never to do any of these things on a Tuesday, when it’s raining, or in a boat with a farcical name. I want to enjoy my whisky. I want to encourage everyone else to do the same. If that means they add ice to their glass, or indeed coke or ginger, then so be it; I may encourage them that there are more effective ways to experience the full flavour, but the choice is always theirs.
Because of this, my aim with this blog is to show what whisky has to offer, share what limited information I have and perhaps suggest times or places when any given whisky might be supped. I am not a whisky tasting expert – I will most likely include tasting notes, because I am trying to learn that skill, but these should be taken with a sizable pinch of salt (the notes, mind, rather than the whisky). I do not know enough to include any sort of scoring, beyond whether I enjoyed the whisky or not. I hope it should be informative and engaging, even if one has little interest in whisky.