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Five favourites: Gordon Steele on whisky

For World Whisky Day, our whisky lecturer, Dr Gordon Steele, shares five of his favourite drams in the world right now…

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Whisky, for me, is all about remembering people and places. Johnnie Walker Black Label is a perfectly crafted whisky and the one I share most with friends particularly when they want an introduction to Scotch. It is perfectly balanced and takes me back to starting out in the industry and drinking Black label in the old United Distillers House in Edinburgh and meeting the people that put it together.

Old Pulteney 12

A good old fashioned whisky made by Inverhouse. I first drank it when visiting the central production facility when I got lost and turned up very late. The blender took me through their stable of whiskies before lunch and it was just a perfect day, sun shining and long conversation about what makes a good whisky before an excellent lunch with the executive group. Great days!

Glen Grant 18

This excellent whisky was first given to me by Dennis Malcolm, one of the great whisky distillers on one of my visits to the distillery. I always drink it when I go sailing on the West Coast of Scotland and I contend nothing tastes better than this whisky after a day’s sailing when you are safe and sound in a remote anchorage in Scotland.

North British Single Grain

Maybe a surprising choice but it takes me back to all the great North British Annual Lunches I went to and meeting all the great distillers, drinking too much and talking about everything and everyone involved in the Industry. Too much excellent wine and whisky would be drunk, including NB single grain, and one would hear the inside stories about the industry that could not be repeated outside.

The Hearach Isle of Harris Whisky

A bit of a cheat as it is not yet commercially available but I have been deeply involved with the creation and manufacture of this whisky. In it I have put all my ideas about how to make a great whisky and it has introduced me to one of the best places and some of the best people on earth. I am now learning Gaelic as a consequence of this whisky. I think, Isle of Harris Distillery is creating one of the very best Scotch Whiskies, will we be successful only time will tell. 

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