I have met Colin a few times now. First introduced to me at a whisky show, our mutual connection being Dave Worthington. You may know Colin from his writing for various whisky publications and of course, he is one third of “The Three Drinkers” along with Helena Nicklin and Aidy Smith. Here are Colin’s #What3Whiskies;
Colin, thankyou so much for taking time out of your busy life to share your whisky history. Can I ask, how are you involved with the whisky industry?
I am a journalist, TV presenter and I am a director of Cask Trade. I started in the industry just thirteen years ago in 2009 writing with LUX magazine and Condé Nast. Nowadays I spend my time writing for Club Oenologique, and the on-line magazine for ‘The Three Drinkers’; I also make a podcast called ‘Bring a Bottle’ which is ‘The Three Drinkers’ podcast. I also enjoy advising Cask Trade, which I think is the best cask trading company out there, otherwise I wouldn’t be working with them. We supply independent bottlers all over the world and help those wanting to live the dream of owning a cask of whisky.
Your first whisky then, what was it, and why you have chosen it?
Lagavulin 16 year old. When I was a teenager on a shoot in the boarders of Scotland, which my home country, it was a freezing cold day and I was frozen to the bone. A game keeper took pity on me and handed me a hip flask. It warmed and cheered me up, and I thought it tasted amazing. I was told it was Lagavulin in the hip flask. My love of whisky started then.
Moving onto your second whisky now, what did you choose?
Mortlach 70 year old by Gordon and MacPhail. This expression was launched at Edinburgh Castle in March 2010 and up to that point I had not tasted any very expensive or whisky older than 40 years old. I had always wondered if the super rare and expensive bottles of whisky were worth all the fuss. This whisky showed me that this one at least certainly was, and that there would probably be many others to come which would be just as good. It remains one of the top ten whiskies I have ever tasted. That day was also a day I’ll always remember of meeting old and making new friends with a reception and dinner at the Castle.
And your third and final dram please…
Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Year Old. In the world I work in I get to taste a great deal of whisky. Time is spent writing notes, analysing, and contemplating the quality of each whisky. Although I take great pleasure in my work, sometimes I just want a whisky to drink. If I can’t think of what I might like, I’ll always reach for the bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label. It has great complexity with lots of fruit and touches of smoke, but above all it is easy to drink, mixes well with a lot of different mixers, and takes water well. It’s a pleasure to simply enjoy the drink and not have to think about it. It also doesn’t break the bank and once I’ve finished a bottle, it goes on the shopping list, and I replace it. I believe it is the best all round whisky in the world.
You can find out more about Colin’s work at the following links: