For years the world was full of generic booze. I grew up with my parents drinking Gordon’s green bottle gin, Captain Morgan Rum, and Famous Grouse. Not that there’s anything wrong with those drinks as such, but the generic entry level stuff most people drank just wasn’t interesting, and failed miserably to spark interest into “what’s next?”
Artisan booze hits the scene
Now, I’m going to bring up gin here just because it’s something I know more about than others. The boom in small patch gin producers, sparked off by the amazing will power of the lads and lasses at Sipsmiths has lead us, nearly 10 years on, to having more choice of premium spirit than we can shake a stick at. Mates of mine in the rum scene are just as inundated. Having just come away from the Whisky Show in London, I can see that the whisky scene is in just as fine fettle when it comes to consumer choice.
Whisky set up perfect for the new guys
I spent some time tasting my way through the whiskies of the Boutiquey Whisky Company. They had the lot. Single malts (from just one distillery), blended malts (from 2 or more distilleries), and blended whiskies (more than one base ingredient, usually grain and barley) are just from Scotland. But this lot also buy in product from Chicago to make their own Bourbon, and Goa to make their own Indian whisky. The whisky brokers and distilleries round the world allow small guys to get themselves a barrel, and start their own whisky company for a fraction of the old-school set up price.
The old guard are off the mark too
With all these younger producers knocking around the old guard can’t afford to lag behind. Glen Moray has been around since 1897, and of course they have their house style. But more than that they’ve got plenty of tricks up their sleeve. Experimentation with where the barrels are from, time in barrels, and eventual mix allow them to really come up with something new every year if they want. If you’re a whisky geek, then you’ve no excuse to ever be bored!
Dave’s (Whisky Discovery) advice of trying as many as you can to get a bit of experience up is getting more daunting by the week. Better get my skates on!
QUESTION: Do you have a whisky producer close to your heart? Which one?