A whisky odyssey for Burns Day

Glenfiddich Distillery Malt 15 Years Old

In today’s National Post I relate the story of the most wonderfully strange junket I’ve ever been on. It involved three days in Scotland, two in Denmark, a lot of whisky and plenty of insight into what makes Scotch whisky the beloved spirit it is.

To wit, one nugget I had to cut from the story for length: Male distillery workers will sometimes wear women’s grooming products. When you’re nosing 300 casks a day, explained Glenfiddich’s affable malt master Brian Kinsman, “You have to buy ladies’ deodorant. Unscented men’s doesn’t exist — or at least I haven’t found it.”

The principal lesson, however, was that marketing Scotch means being up for new ideas and adventures: trying venison with sticks, holding meetings in Malaysia and maintaining ties to quiet little whisky festivals in Denmark. Continue reading “A whisky odyssey for Burns Day”

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Updates! Sailing, Scotch, shilling T.O., and Screaming Lord Sutch

So! Interesting couple of weeks.

I was off to Key West, Fla., for a few days this week to go sailing as a guest of Mount Gay rum, which HAVE I MENTIONED I ENJOY VERY MUCH?

(Actually, I have endorsed it on more than one occasion. So I don’t really feel bad about accepting a junket from Mount Gay. It’s only payola if you don’t like the product – right?)

Key West is a pretty cool place: soaked in sunshine, littered with Ernest Hemingway memorabilia and populated with crusty-looking sun-dried barflies who probably don’t give the first shit about anything. I guess the most laid-back/burnt out Americans end up at the bottom of the country like so many played-out pinballs. One day soon I will write more about Key West, Florida’s spic-and-span, SpongeBob SquarePants-esque old-timer’s answer to New Orleans.

Also, they let me pilot a $3-million boat.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of what I’ve been …

Writing:

I thought I’d get more flak for calling Toronto the most exciting city in Canada while also making the point that it should learn some self-promotion mojo from New York.

Continue reading “Updates! Sailing, Scotch, shilling T.O., and Screaming Lord Sutch”