5May

Article Series in Whisky Magazine

Article

Many of you know about my whisky website, but I’m extending further into article writing on the subject. This month’s edition of the industry’s top publication, Whisky Magazine, features the start of a series I’ve written on the history of Scotch whisky advertising. It’s currently shaping up at about four articles, going from the mid 19th Century to the present day. The first section is all about how – very broadly speaking – companies started off as family merchants but, as their whiskies began to reach new markets around the world in the late 19th Century, they began to release whiskies under brand names. Naturally it was all about blended whisky, for the most part.

30Mar

University Club Library, New York City

University Club Library – New York City
I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated – or had significant updates! – but publishing and writing is slow… I’ve been buried in structural novel edits from my publisher, along with writing and researching quite a few articles for Whisky Magazine (I’m very much enjoying non-fiction). I’m actually reading quite a bit these days as well, which makes a change; I’m two-thirds of the way through Anthony Trollope’s Barchester novels, and enjoying them a lot. Anyway, for now, here’s a picture of University Club Library, in New York City. I’m sure even Kindle readers can appreciate this.

7Mar

Bruce Springsteen – New York City Serenade

This is one of my favourite Bruce Springsteen songs. It reminds me a lot of Underworld, by Don DeLillo. (Here’s a post on that novel from almost eight years agoChrist, eight years.) Clearly both are different; but for me it’s more a case that they zoom in on little street portraits, and those vignettes create something greater than the sum of the parts.

What I’ve been working on recently completely avoids cities, but songs like this really make me miss writing about them. (Or the made-up people who inhabit them.)

12Feb

Latest Whisky Reviews

Octomore 7.4

I am writing many things about whisky still, including a few articles for Whisky Magazine. I hope to have more news on all writing fronts soon – things do work slowly in publishing – but for now, here’s how I’m spending my online time over at my whisky website.

I was sent a review of a powerful new Bruichladdich single malt, the Octomore 7.4 Virgin Oak. I was also able to compare it against a secret single cask whisky that I acquired at the distillery whilst on honeymoon.

Recently I interviewed a man called Mark Reynier, who resurrected Bruichladdich many years ago and is now setting up a new and impressive venture in Ireland. And in other reviews, I sampled a very old and rare whisky from Rosebank distillery; enjoyed a little sample of a cask strength (strong) whisky from Glengoyne; and was unimpressed with a sample of the new Glenmorangie Milsean.

6Dec

Latest Whisky Reviews

Whisky samples

You know the score. I’m blogging mostly about whisky these days. The site is doing very well, too, with over 50,000 page views for the last 30 days. As well as the novel writing and blogging, I’m also writing about whisky for magazines, such as this piece for Scottish Sporting Gazette on pairing pheasant food with whiskies. There seems to be a good connection between people who like wild food and whisky, so hopefully there’ll be more on that front.

I was lucky enough to be part of another Bruichladdich online tasting, featuring three mind-boggling single cask whiskies.

The GlenDronach Peated is very decent for only £35 a bottle. This Benrinnes single cask is pretty tasty too. And this Glencadam vertical tasting highlights a very good distillery.

Finally, I tried two new whiskies from The Deveron range, and they were… okay. Nothing special, but solid whiskies.

19Nov

Twilight of the Masters

“Twilight of the Masters offers a moving portrait of three of the world’s most dedicated craftsmen in the twilight hours of their careers. The film follows these craftsmen as they grapple with their legacies and consider how their craft might be passed onto the next generation.”