On assignment in the Outer Hebrides Islands, I connect with my editor in the U.S. via a crappy phone line from a phone booth in the middle of nowhere. He asks if I can stop by the Oban distillery on the mainland of Scotland on the way back to London. Arrive at Oban at 10 a.m. to take photos and have a quick scotch tasting. Was plowed by 10:43. A few hours later came to realize that I had missed my train to London.
That Scottish morning was the start of a deep lover affair for whiskey. For decades the amber drink has been spared marketing gimmickry. Then the dreadful artificially flavored whiskeys, and the Makers Mark debacle heralded the trashy corporate glamorizing of my favorite booze.
Thankfully there’s a new guidebook to take us through the bullshit. Mark Bylok’s “The Whiskey Cabinet.” Am looking forward to reading it with a large scotch next to me.