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EWA Alumni: Mark Rogers

EWA Alumni: Mark Rogers

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I teach Design and Technology in a Secondary school in Staffordshire, England, where I live with my wife and son. I spend my time following the fortunes of Walsall Football Club, watching my son play cricket and, of course, enjoying whisky with friends.

We have occasional gatherings of the Hammerwich Malt Mates and enjoy tasting and comparing single malt whiskies. Annually, we hold a whisky related competition, the winner of which is presented with a much-coveted prize which they hold for a year.

How did you discover whisky?

On holiday near Auchterarder, I attended a ‘tourist' whisky tasting. I expected to hear much pretentious claptrap about weird and unfathomable tastes and ‘notes’. The host was fantastic, explained everything in an interesting, accessible and informal manner. I could actually get it, well some of it. I experienced a whisky epiphany – truly, a wonderful thing. Since then, I have wanted to learn more.

What attracted you to the EWA course?

My wife signed me up as an alternative to buying me a bottle (I suspect she thinks I already have too many).

What aspects of the course did you find most enjoyable?

The information is clear and concise and it’s presented in a format which allows you to progress at your own speed. I also appreciate that, quite understandably, it goes beyond the depth of a standard distillery visit presentation. Cleverly, it’s left me intrigued and wishing to learn even more. Also, as I go through the slides it brings back memories of distilleries, tasting, whisky shops and people I have met.

How have you used your new-found knowledge since you completed the course?

As my interest in whisky is purely recreational, I have (as of yet) no professional requirement to extend my knowledge and understanding. However, I do feel I can now appreciate a little more what I put in my glass, so that gives me lots more enjoyment. When it’s okay to socially meet up again I intend to attempt imparting a little more understanding to my fellow Malt Mates. This is a significant challenge and one for which I feel a little better prepared having completed the EWA courses.

Whisky wisdom: quick fire questions

First whisky you ever tasted?
A very small sip of White Horse, given to me one very long ago Christmas when I was a small boy.

Best whisky you have ever tasted?
To be honest, this can change, but right now it’s Cadenhead’s Single Cask Glenburgie-Glenlivet 25 year old.

Who is your ‘whisky hero’?
George More, a true Scottish gentleman and the wonderful host of the first tasting I attended as mentioned above. I have since attended many of George’s tasting events.

Who would you most like to conduct a whisky tasting for, dead or alive?
George Harrison.

Favourite distillery to visit?
There’s too many, but to choose one – Highland Park, simply a magical place.

Ultimate bottling for your collection?
Myself, and a couple of the Hammerwich Malt Mates are part owners of a cask of single malt from the Cotswolds Distillery. Its third birthday is November 2020 and we don’t expect it to get too much older before we have it bottled! Sorry it’s not Scottish but the Cotswolds is our ‘local’ distillery.

Favourite non-whisky drink?
A cup of tea.

Favourite whisky and food pairing?
Any decent smoky cheddar and any Ardbeg.

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