Category Archives:PEOPLE

Whisky for Girls-page-001
Mar. 05.

Whisky. Fascination. Women.

Whisky for Girls (& Guys!) was formed due to fascination.

In life one should always follows ones fascination. If you don’t, it will follow you until you turn and acknowledge it. 

And, so it was with me.

I had been fascinated with whisky since I was a teenager,  after a dance we would visit the boys in the distillery to get a drop of something to warm us up!

But, in those days it never occurred to us that a woman could have a career in the industry.  

  I would not have even known how to approach the thought.

Then, one day, near the time of the Feis Ile, the Islay Whisky Festival ~ the week when so many people come to Islay it sinks about 4 feet… and you can’t get  accommodation for love nor money…

I walked into the Tourist Board in Bowmore to see my friend Janice.

She was on the phone as I entered… and she looked up and pointed at me with a big smile on her face….

‘Rachel’, she said, ‘a man could stay in your house?’

‘Eh??  yes. Ok , I suppose ……. ‘ I replied.

So, then, she said to the person on the other end of the phone

‘Yes, Sir, we do have accommodation for you…!!!’

And that was it ~ 

Through fate my fascination was following me and was about to change my life

Ewald Baron came to stay in my house for the week of the festival because Janice could not get him accommodation anywhere else.

 He and I became great friends.

Every night Ewald would bring lovely drams back for us to drink and talk over the events of that open day.

Then one time he asked me, ‘Rachel, do all your girl friends drink as much whisky as you?’

And I said… ‘don’t be so bloody cheeky!’

But I knew what he meant.

And I said, ‘ No, no they don’t.  They drink wine and vodka and terrible things……

More Girls should drink whisky

We need Whisky for Girls….!’

And Ewald said: ‘Yes, yes, this is a good idea.

More Whisky for Girls.’

And I said, ‘I am going to form a company called

Whisky for Girls and get more girls to drink whisky’.

And, that is what  I did.

Whisky for Girls ~ it all started with a dram :-)

And that is the true story of it!

And now I work with my fascination for whisky and it’s great!

 Here is to us all. To all Girls and Women in Whisky.

Slainte!

But, then today as I wrote this post I thought of my fiend ~ 

I have been out of contact with Ewald for a few years. He has not been to the Feis Ile for a long time.

He is not on facebook, he did not reply to my last few eamails.

He had vanished. I was worried about him. And today, after writing this piece, I thought… what will I do to find my friend?

So, I appealed to the biggest group of Whisky Drinkers I know ~ the Malt Maniacs & Friends Group on facebook. I put a message on asking if anyone knew Ewald or could help me find him. 

I have had my differences with many on MM&F in the past, and spent time arguing with men with very poor attitudes towards women….

but, today Malt Maniacs found my friend!

Everyone rallied round to help, and a guy in Holland (who must surely be a detective….) found Ewald through a music site. 

I am so happy. 

I really can say, the Whisky World is amazing.

Through Whisky & Music & Friendship,  I am in touch with my friend again.

Slàinte! Malt Maniacs & Friends, I really do appreciate you!

Band of Gold (1024x681) (640x426)

Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Jan. 23.

#BSWA

Whisky for Girls kicks off our Big Scotland Whisky Adventure on Sunday 8th February 2015.

#BIGSCOTLANDWHISKYADVENTURE is a journey through the land of Scotland visiting ALL the whisky distilleries of the country ~  there are in the region of 100 or so ~ and tasting the beautiful UISGE BEATHA (whisky) for which  Scotland is justifiably famous.

Whisky Map

We will be away from Islay for as long as it takes…. There is no hard and fast organised schedule. Whisky for Girls (& Guys!) will wander through the beautiful country of Scotland.

We will enjoy the scenery, the people, the atmosphere, the wildlife, the public transport, the weather ~ but most of all, we will enjoy exploring the world of whisky that is Scotland.

We will experience the land of Scotland which makes the Whisky of Scotland and endeavour to share this with you.

Please join me on the #BIGSCOTLANDWHISKYADVENTURE 

Follow  

@WildandMagic on Twitter

and 

Whisky for Girls on facebook

and

Whisky for Girls (& Guys!)

Slàinte!

wonderful whisky map of Scotland by 

amcmurchieprints

 

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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Dec. 08.

SANTA’S SEASONAL EXPLOITS revealed to Whisky for Girls….

 After scoffing a bottle of Caol Ila Cask Strength, Santa shows Whisky for Girls his lascivious side……!

Whisky Drinking Santa

What do you do on the other nights of the year?

Well believe it or not I’m actually very busy all year round. Everything that happens on Christmas Eve and Christmas day takes a lot of planning. This being the modern world things have changed a lot and I now have a few part–time consultancy jobs with the likes of Fed-Ex, DHL and Parcel force. It’s of benefit to all parties and as the work load increases, we (North Pole Enterprises) sub-contract to many of the big name carriers. But that’s mainly day work. Nights are more “Me time” …..

Mmm… I really like this Caol Ila, for cask strength it’s very smooth….

Who do you hang out with?

Oh I’ve a few mates. The tooth Fairy, Superman, Jolly Green Giant although I am only just started talking to him again after he stole my “Ho Ho Ho”.  I’m also friendly with Snow White and it’s nice when she visits cos the Dwarfs can go and see the Elves and no doubt have a good moan about us. Humpty Dumpty is also a great laugh and we’ve had some great nights out but he can sometimes go too far. More than once he’s taken a tumble and you’ve probably heard what happens. One minute we’re shouting “Better not climb that wall” next thing you know you can’t move for Kings horses and Kings men. Lot of good they were…   didn’t even have basic first aid. AND they caused mayhem galloping off after the Ambulance on its way to A+E…..

Wonder how much this is a bottle? It’s very nice once you’ve had a few… these glasses hold more than you think! Ah well it’s nearly Christmas….now where was I…..

Are they whisky drinkers?

Abso-bloody-lutely! Mind you, most of them will drink anything. Snow- white likes Glenfarclas. Dwarves will drink anything as long as it’s a miniature. The rest will have whatever is going free.

When did you first drink whisky? 

All pics 502

Oh It was a very long time ago. Before the days of the exciseman. Bloody tax………..

What is your preferred style of whisky?

Oh I like all whisky but I suppose if I were pushed it would have to be a good Islay Single Malt. Just like this Caol Ila I have here. I may as well finish the bottle now, no sense in leaving a wee dribble in the bottom…… no use to man nor beast

How often do you drink whisky?

Oh not that often maybe 3 or 4 times a day………  And a few in the evening………

Who introduced you to whisky?

Oh that would be my old mate Jack Frost. I remember him saying “Here try some of this Nick, this will warm you up” and you know he was right!

Do women drink much whisky where you are?

Well you’re asking the wrong man here. You see there are not really a lot of women here. Only Mrs Clause. She says she enjoys a wee one but if that’s true, why did she marry me!!!!!!! Oh I forgot the tooth fairy. How could I forget the tooth fairy? She’s quite well off you know. You think only a pound here and a dollar there but it’s all cash! Bet she doesn’t declare half of it.

Tooth Fairy

How do you think whisky has changed over all the time you have been drinking it?

Too much choice now. And it’s too expensive… bloody taxman. The tooth fairy has the right idea. And another thing, far too many expressions only aimed at the collectors. Whisky is for drinking and sharing not gathering dust on a shelf. Talking of which I may need to see what’s open in the cupboard……….

What do you think of the New World whiskies?

Well what can you say. It’s ok…. No that’s not fair some of it is actually very good. You must remember it’s all “still” a bit new to them…… get it…still??

Can we expect to see more whisky given as presents at Christmas?

I hope so…. To me it’s the perfect gift. If you get a bottle you like then throw the cork in the fire and get wired in. If it’s one you’re not that keen on then just say “ Wow, this is too good to drink now, this is one for my special collection” Smiles all round…………………………………………………………..

Ah haaaa  Lagavulin 16yr old and it’s half full!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…………………………..

Lagavulin 31-1-12 053 (2)

What advice do you have for people who want to learn about whisky?

Get yourselves over to Islay. It’s the place to see how it’s done properly and the people are very friendly. I visit there a lot (in disguise of course). I normally have a shave in January so that makes it easier. I get the ferry over cos I’m fed up flying. I park the sleigh at Kennacraig Ferry Terminal on the mainland and leave the reindeer in the field across the road.

Why did you chose red for your suit?

Sponsorship!!!! Done a deal with Coke years ago and we’ve been raking it in ever since!

Who looks after the reindeer when they are at home?

Well to be honest they are only leased. So we just hand them back to the Sami and we don’t see them again until we need them. Tax deductible! Our accountant is very good at that sort of thing! He also attends to the Tooth Fairy’s business affairs so enough said!!!!!!

Are you a party man?

HELL YEAH…. Or at least I was when I was younger. Once you get over a hundred you do need to slow down a bit. I love going out on Halloween. We all do cos we can be ourselves. I can really let my beard down. This Lagavulin is just the dog’s………………… I might go out when I finish this………. Bound to be somewhere still open ………………… wonder if the tooth fairy is out????????????????

 Will you ever retire?

I could have retired around 50 years ago but what’s the point. For all the pension is I don’t think I could survive. I could always get a part time Christmas job in John Lewis’s as myself!!!!!!!!! How mental would that be………. Right I’m going to text the TF!!!!!!!!!!

Do you take on apprentices?

Yes. It’s very important to keep the old crafts and skills going for the future generations and their little ones. We also get paid by a Scottish government scheme which helps………… Ok text sent!!

What does Ho mean, and why do you shout it ?

It means the TF has texted back  HoHoHoHoHo… “im up 4 it if u r big boy xx lol ”

Now. I need to get out without Mrs C hearing me….. not easy when you’re pissed!

What if people don’t have a chimney ~ how do you get down the chimney?

Santas Key

No chimney no problem. We’ll always find a way in but I can’t tell you how. At the moment getting out is the problem….

Are people still as kind as they were when I was wee and leave out shortbread and a dram for you, and carrots and water for the reindeer?

Yes very kind. More Blue WKD and muffins nowadays but wten you’re out on Christmas night anything will do. Of course I don’t drive/fly myself. We have a designated Elf. Not bothered about the reindeer as they are only leased. Did I tell you that? ……………… Tried standing up there, not good. Bloody cask strength. I’m going to have to text TF back…. Sorry No can do…. OR should that be Knockando?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you get it ……? no can do…… ? ah, please yourselves.

What will you put in my stocking this year?

Ah stockings…. Two of my favourite things…… I bet the TF wears stockings. Humpty  says she does. He got a flash of her sussies one night when he fell off that bloody wall. He says it was worth it for that alone………..

You are an advocate for eco and tradition ~ still using reindeer and sleigh, not a MAN truck for example ~ do you think this is the best way to stop global warming and the desecration of the planet, because if not, you won’t have a home?

Santa's sleigh

 Yes I do. Even the reindeer have been modified to be more eco friendly. More streamline antlers, alloy hooves and lighter carbon fibre harness mean they can now do over 55 chimneys to the carrot. I’m finding it difficult to type now. I’m on one knee with only my chin on the desk holding me up…… bloody cask strength…….. problems focussing on the screen. Bloody TF has not texted back…. Bet you she’s met the Jolly Green Giant… Ho ho bloody ho    ’;lopkkm………….,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,l=_>>> sorry about that chin slipped and my beard caught on the keyboard!

Will we see you next year?

Feeling ill now. What’s the question… Will we see you next year? Might not see me this bloody year……… Only joking but I do really need to go to bed now. I must try not to wake up Mrs C…. she’s great you know…one in a million, I’m a lucky man.

Ho Ho Ho, 

Merry Christmas to One and All

Bad Santa

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Thank you, Santa, for that revealing glimpse into your seasonal life

Slàinte!

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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Nov. 25.

PORTRAIT OF A WHISKY LOVER

What makes someone who has never been to Islay, far less to Bruichladdich, get themselves a  Bruichladdich tattoo? Derek Mather of Artisan Restaurant in Wishaw is the very man to ask.

photo of Derek Mather

DEREK MATHER  ~ whisky lover from Old Kilpatrick,  living in Carstairs  ~  but, not in the hospital facility  (even though his wife, Fiona, says he should be!)  has upwards of 1,700 good whiskies to offer diners at his restaurant.

Derek worked in numerous Scottish restaurants and was frustrated at the whisky being offered to people ~ generic brand names that didn’t in any way showcase the range and depth of fantastic whisky produced in Scotland ~ or indeed in other countries. So, Derek, and his wife Fiona, decided to open Artisan Restaurant. A restaurant where people can sample the best of Scottish food

Octomore Beef

(~ beef from Octomore farm in Islay, Octomore is where the water comes from for Bruichladdich Distillery) ~ and drink it with the best of Scottish whisky ~  the sauce is made with Black Art!

  Derek said, ‘some of our whiskies are expensive, but most of them are very affordable. Well, I think they are, and I have been told by many people who go out drinking in Glasgow and Edinburgh that my whiskies are fantastic value as they have paid a lot more for them in the big cities.’

If Bruichladdich are the progressive Hebridean Distillers ~  Derek is the progressive Lowland restuarateur! His connection with Bruichladdich goes even further than just having 300 of their bottles in his living collection ~ Derek sports a personally designed Bruichladdich tattoo.

DEREK MATHER TATTOO

When the distillery staff came to Artisan and saw Derek’s tattoo ~ and his Bruichladdich whisky collection, they dubbed him the Maddie Laddie Collector. I asked him what is so special for him about Bruichladdich. Derek said, ‘Because they released so many quirky bottles when they reopened in 2001 and continued the trend throughout the next ten years, they weren’t afraid to try something different!’

Derek told me his love for whisky stems for his love of all things Scottish ~  it helped that his father gave him a bottle of Glenfiddich for his 18th.

One of the things that draws Derek to whisky is the passion and dedication that goes into crafting a bottle ~ not to mention drinking one! He likes the way whisky is created differently depending on cask, length of maturation, region.

GlenmorangiePort Charlotte

In Artisan, Derek offers guests great whiskies from around the globe, but his heart is with Scotch whisky ~ and who can blame him! He told me he drinks Islays on cold days and Speysides and Highlands on warmer days ~ needless to say he drinks many more Islays!

The best bottle Derek has in his collection is a secret dram ~ it is a very rare Bruichladdich ~ and he is not at liberty to tell exactly what………

Derek wishes he still had a bottle of the ‘Rare Malts ~ a Clynelish 24 yo ~  a stunning dram.’  The oldest dram he holds at present is a 46 yo Invergordon and the youngest they have are a couple of 3 year olds ~ one being Bruichladdich X4 +3, a very fresh tasting young dram.

 The most popular  with the customers are Highland and Speyside whiskies like Balvenie, Macallan and Glendronach. More women are coming into Artisan to dine and becoming adventurous when it comes to drinking whisky. People are asked what flavours they like, then, a whisky is sourced for them from the prestigious collection.

Sounds to me like an excellent night out ~ 

ARTISAN WITH WHISKYDerek Mather Photo

 

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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Jul. 21.

Whisky for Girls Presents ~ Girls for Whisky

Women in Whisky  are standing on the shoulders of giants ~  Emily Pankhurst, Millicent Fawcett, Bessie Williamson, Sheila Burtles, to name but a few.

We owe a great debt to these forward thinking independent women. Emily Pankhurst and Millicent Fawcett for fighting for our rights as women, Bessie Williamson for leading the way for women in distillery management, being one of the first, if not the first, woman distillery manager. She was manager, then in 1954 became owner of Laphroaig Distillery. Sheila Burtles is one of the pioneers who created the whisky flavour wheel ~ without which concept we would struggle to decipher or describe the notes in our lovely drams.

Today, Whisky for Girls would like to introduce some of the amazing women who continue this pioneering tradition and are working in and around the whisky industry, opening up a traditionally male dominated arena for the benefit of all.

 Without further ado I present……………………………

KELLY CARPENTER

 JOINT FOUNDER OF THE CANADIAN SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY.    http://www.smws.ca/

 Where do you live?    Calgary, Canada

What do you do?    My husband and I are the founders of the Canadian branch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Where did your interest in whisky come from?    I grew up around whisky as both my parents enjoyed it.

How long have you been drinking whisky?    I dabbled in it in University, and always kept a bottle or two around, but it was when Rob and I moved to Scotland for a year in 2004 that my interest and passion really started to take off.

What was your first dram/last/next dram?   First dram:  probaby a Chivas as that was what the folks drank.  Last dram:  last night, one of my favourite Society bottlings from a few years back, 33.70 “Keith Richards meets Socrates”.  Next dram:  probably another fabulous Society dram, but which one depends on my mood, the weather, the time of day… 

Where do you see yourself going in relation to whisky in next 10 years?    In the next 10 years – I’d like to say early retirement, but realistically we hope to be running a well-established, successful branch of The SMWS and enjoying all the fun things that come with that, like traveling, hosting tastings and meeting great people who love whisky!

When are you coming to see us in Islay?    I’ve been to Islay twice – it’s such a neat place!  We’ll be in Scotland at the end of August but sadly a trip to Islay isn’t in the cards this time.  

What can the industry do to improve things for women?    If you mean in terms of getting more women interested in whisky, there’s already been a real shift in the demographics of who’s drinking whisky now. I see it all the time at tastings and festivals we attend where young, curious women are keen to learn about whisky, perhaps because their husbands/boyfriends/fathers/brothers drink it. It’s encouraging!  Within the industry, we’re seeing more and more women in significant roles like “distillery manager” and “master blender” which were traditionally held by men.  Social media is also playing a part as people like yourself and others share their thoughts through Twitter, Facebook, websites/blogs, etc.  Anything that women in the industry can do to alleviate some of the intimidation is key for women who are just starting to learn about whisky!

I think marketing and packaging play a big part too.  My husband always teases me because I will often buy wine based on the label design without too much concern for the contents (needless to say, that’s backfired on me more than a few times).  But the point is that women are highly visual creatures and certain brands are realizing that the shape of the bottle, for example, can attract curious new buyers.  When Glenmorangie redesigned their bottles a few years ago, they made them much more feminine-looking; almost reminiscent of a perfume bottle.  Women respond to that.  I’m encouraged by the number of women I see showing interest in whisky and I’m sure the trend will continue.
 
What’s next?    What’s next?  A dram, of course!  : )
 
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PENNY ELLIS

 DIRECTOR OF THE SPIRIT OF SPEYSIDE WHISKY FESTIVAL    http://www.spiritofspeyside.com/

 Where do you live?  I live in Speyside in a small village close to the town of Forres.

What do you do?    My main role is owning and managing with my husband Knockomie Hotel in Forres. We are a small 15 bedroom Inn with a large selection of single malts and blended whiskies stocked in the Malt Library. Being located in the beautiful Speyside region we have over 20 distilleries close by. Many are open to visitors and have great visitor centres, that attract tourists and whisky enthusiasts from all over the world. I also a Director of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. The festival attracts visitors from as far away as Canada, Japan and India as well visitors from Europe and the United Kingdom. I also write a monthly Whisky Column for the Scots Magazine.

Where did your interest in whisky come from?   Having known Gavin, my husband, for over 25  years whisky has always featured in celebrations, and over the years through working for two whisky companies and also selling it at Knockomie, I have developed an interest in the ‘water of life’. 

 How long have you been drinking whisky?     I have been drinking whisky since my early twenties. When you are living in Edinburgh, it soon becomes apparent that when you are socialising with friends the subject of whisky comes up and everyone has an opinion!

What was your first dram/last/next dram?   My first dram was at Hogmanay one year and it was a Bell’s blended whisky. My last dram was a Glenlivet Nadurra, a stunning example of a Speyside Single malt.Nadurra is Gaelic for natural, and this cask strength 16 year old is matured in first fill ex-bourbon casks, it has a soft fragrant and floral nose with a gentle toffee sweetness and creamy palate, this will be a favourite of mine. For my next whisky, I would like to try Laphroaig Triple Wood, it looks very interesting and so it shall look forward to savouring a dram of it.

Where do you see yourself going in relation to whisky in next 10 years?   Over the next 10 years I would like to develop my enthusiasm and passion for whisky further, writing more about. I have written a book, published this year called Distinguished Distilleries, it’s aimed at the whisky enthusiast or  tourist and takes you around Scotland giving a short insight in to 40 different distilleries. I would also like to introduce more women to whisky and offer more bespoke tastings aimed at women.

When are you coming to see us in Islay?    I very much hope to visit Islay this Autumn.

What can the industry do to improve things for women?   I think the industry is working hard to capture the female market and there are a number of brand ambassadors who are women and who are actively promoting and introducing women to whisky. Let’s all just keep up the good work!

What’s next?   For me, I will continue to run Knockomie and wherever I can I will learn more about our national drink and promote it to new and existing enthusiasts. I am intending to speak and do a whisky tasting at a Whisky Club in the North West of England, I hope this will be the first of many.

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 FEMKE TIJTSMA SIJTSMA 

 WHISKYGIRL    http://whiskygirl.nl/

 Where do you live?    The Netherlands in a small town in the north ,called Hallum. Here it’s famous for it’s cookies and rusk.

What do you do?   I run an online administration office in combination with cloud tools. My partner has his own company which I make part of.  My job is to take care of the administration and the marketing.

Where did your interest in whisky come from?    When I was 18, I fell in love with whisky.  I was staying at a friends place, He just returned from Scotland, and he brought some bottles home with him. We had a nice evening, chatting about his journey and there came the glass of whisky. As you may know, I’m curious, than and now.  From the first sip of the golden drink I was hooked. There was something that a seed has been planted and something was growing… a grow of whisky interest. I never tasted anything like it. All I know is, that this particular whisky came from scotland.

How long have you been drinking whisky?    Since I was 18. I’m 33 now… so around 15 years. The interest in whisky has never left me. But since a few years, the interest became bigger. I visit the Whisky Festival in Leiden ( now Den Haag) and I was amazed about the range of whisky,  I tasted whisky, where I didn’t knew  the existence. I met someone who  had a stand there. He told me about a whiskyforum.(hetwhiskyforum.nl) and there was an need of woman :-)…  My whisky interest has been pulled into an new dimension. When I got home, I went to the website and became a member. I’ve met a lot of interesting  people.

What was your first dram/last/next dram?   I can’t remember my first one, unfortunately  …. All I know it was fantastic and never tasted anything like it again. Maybe thats the drive to go on this whisky adventure. My last one was at the North Sea Jazz festival. I had the Highland park 12 yr at the Famous Grouse Bar. And my next? Visit my website….

Where do you see yourself going in relation to whisky in next 10 years?    I hope my website and my name is known everywhere. When you say whiskygirl, no explanation is needed. Within a year or two I’d like to be part of a Whisky Festival.  Sometimes I’m joking about having my own whisky distillery and launching my own whisky… you never know. I’m working on a business plan. I’ve got lot’s of ideas for the next 10 years.

When are you coming to see us in Islay?     Between now and a year, I hope…. I’m planning a trip, but that takes time.

 What can the industry do to improve things for women?   Playing with the design of the bottles.  Other free things to go with it..  not only “man things”. We woman are upcoming in the whisky market.  And we’d like it a little bit different than most man.  I’m not saying, it has to be pink. But more sweet, sexy and smooth. Make room for a new image, to attract more woman. Now we haven’t got a very nice image…just picture google on Whisky and woman….  It’s a shame. For example. Just look at the washing advertising on tv. Where are all the men who are washing their clothes. Slowly there is a change in this image. So also in the whisky and women combination. 

What’s next?    Just keep an eye on whiskygirl. I may surprise you 

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ALWYNNE GWILT

 MISS WHISKY     http://misswhisky.com/                   Photo: imageRevolver

Where do you live?   London, England

What do you do?   Freelance Journalist and Blogger

Where did your interest in whisky come from?   I went to a tasting about four and a half years ago at a small whisky shop called Milroys in London. I thought I hated whisky as I’d had bad experiences when I was younger with horrid cheap blends, but that night my eyes were opened to the beauty of single malts.

How long have you been drinking whisky?   Since February 2008! A well-remembered evening!

What was your first dram/last/next dram?   Unfortunately, I don’t remember my first dram. My last was a secret one from Islay which I don’t know the name of as I am a judge in some whisky awards, so they don’t label the drams. My next one will almost certainly be another random Islay whisky – I’ve still got 23 to go!

Where do you see yourself going in relation to whisky in next 10 years?    I hope to keep exploring the world of whisky, learning about new countries emerging onto the whisky scene and furthering the fact that us ladies enjoy a dram as much as the fellas do! But 10 years? Gosh, that’s a while yet. I’ve only been drinking it for less than five, so I can only hope to double my exposure in that time. Fingers crossed!

When are you coming to see us in Islay?   Oooo good question! I hope to get up there this autumn (maybe September?) if I can as I’ve still only driven through rather than properly visited Islay so it’s a big one on my list!

What can the industry do to improve things for women?    That’s a tricky one. I know so many amazing women who work in this industry who really love what they do and don’t see any difference between how they are treated and how the men are. Yes, there are loads more men working in the whisky world, but I think that is slowly changing. On the note of women who drink whisky and maybe trying to get more into it – I think that will only develop over time. The whisky world is a slow moving one but we’re seeing huge step changes in how it’s marketed and advertised and I think that will only increase the number of females, and younger (ie: below 35-year-olds) who drink drams.

What’s next?   I hope to just keep encouraging more people to discover whisky, whether female, male, young or old. I’m constantly doing this in my inner circles of friends and family, but hope Miss Whisky (my website) will encourage more women to get into it. Equally, I love hearing people’s stories, especially those of the women in the industry, and can’t wait to keep sharing those with the wider audience.

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AMANDA LUDLOW

 

CO FOUNDER OF THE WHISKY LOUNGE    http://www.thewhiskylounge.com/

 Where do you live?    York

What do you do?    I organise Festival side of The Whisky Lounge and I am the Commercial Director of The Great Whisky Company which specialises in distributing interesting Whiskies to the on and off trade exclusively and our first client is Berry Brothers and Rudd

Where did your interest in whisky come from?   My Daddy and my husband

How long have you been drinking whisky?    6 months

What was your first dram/last/next dram?    Bushmills Black Bush, Jameson’s Select Reserve and Berry Brother 1980 Coal Ila

Where do you see yourself going in relation to whisky in next 10 years?    More drinking of mine malts in small amounts, more learning and converting others to do the same

When are you coming to see us in Islay?    Hopefully at the end of July start of August

 What can the industry do to improve things for women?    the industry is welcoming from my point of view I think we need to educate women to the beauty of whisky if we succeed in doing that they will be joining the industry in droves

What’s next ?   Right now organising the TWL Liverpool Manchester and 10th Anniversary Festival in York 13th October.  Planning for 2013 with TWL Festivals in France 2013 and Belfast 2013, possibly a new distillery project, plus 2 new clients for The Great Whisky Company in the Autumn all fingers crossed.

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ALLISON PATEL

 OWNER AT LOCAL INFUSIONS AN IMPORT/EXPORT COMPANY http://thewhiskywoman.wordpress.com/

Where do you live?    New York City, USA

What do you do?   I run my own spirits import/export company, Local Infusions, where I focus on independent craft producers.  I search the globe for unique, hand-crafted products, focusing mostly on whiskies produced in non-traditional countries and manage my blog. I am also preparing to launch my own whisky, Brenne, a French Single Malt that’s been finished in Cognac casks. When I first met with this 3rd generation Cognac distiller 2 years ago, I learned that he was making whisky as a side project.  He had no interest in marketing and selling it so I set up a partnership with him and offered to create the brand around this beautiful whisky and handle all of the sales if he continues to make it. There is nothing like it on the market and I can honestly say it is the most approachable whisky I have ever tasted.  I’m so excited to be launching it in NYC first this Fall!

Where did your interest in whisky come from?   My husband!  Every night after dinner he would relax with a good single malt.  I didn’t think I liked whisky so I tried everything else looking for my own night cap.  Then one night we were in lower Manhattan at a bar called Vintry Wine & Whisky and having just returned from South Korea, he had a new-found love for Japanese whiskies.  He ordered a Yamazaki 18yr, I took the first sip and never gave him back his glass!  I was hooked and never looked back.

How long have you been drinking whisky?    Since the Summer of 2008

What was your first dram/last/next dram?   First was Yamazaki 18, Last was Mackmyra Special 07, Next … something later on tonight!

 Where do you see yourself going in relation to whisky in next 10 years?    Hopefully still running my company.  I’d like to be able to look back and see an integration of craft whiskies all around the world.  I know there is a supply & demand issue and one of the appeals of “craft” is that it’s limitedly produced – but I don’t think every product needs to be in every market.  However, I do believe that every country has pockets of consumers who are passionate about whisky, eager to learn, experience & share and I’d like to be one of the people that can help bring these amazing, global craft whiskies to them. 

When are you coming to see us in Islay?    Does tomorrow work? 😉

What can the industry do to improve things for women?   Not separate us from the men.  I think whisky separates the boys from the men, but not the women from the men! 😉 It doesn’t matter to me if your male, female or somewhere inbetween; if you enjoy your brown spirits, then that’s what it’s all about!  Don’t “dumb it down” or start putting rainbows and glitter on your labels to try to attract more female consumers.  Just focus on making something that tastes great. Period.

What’s next?   Launching Brenne!

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 MYSELF! ~ RACHEL MACNEILL

 Photo ~ imageRevolver

OWNER OF WHISKY FOR GIRLS & WILD AND MAGIC ISLAY TRAVEL CO http://www.whiskyforgirls.com/home/

Where do you live?    Isle of Islay, Scotland

What do you do?    I run Whisky for Girls company which  started just for fun, as a joke really, as a way to introduce my friends and other women to whisky,  and like all great jokes it took on a life of it’s own. Whisky for Girls integrates people,  drams, the process, the elements and the humour and graft and shows it to people and acts as a bridge between just whisky focussed things and peoples lives.  Whisky for Girls has whisky tours to Islay for women and men,  Slow Dram Whisky Tasting, and is developing an online whisky club. I also have Wild and Magic Islay travel co., Wild and Magic Islay Apparel and Whisky for Girls Jewellery.

Where did your interest in whisky come from?  When I was teenage we used to go into the distillery at night after a dance and visit the boys on night shift. We would have a cup of the wash to warm us up, or a drop of something stronger! and I would make them take me round (and then round again) the distillery explaining everything to me.

How long have you been drinking whisky? Since I was a teenager

What was your first dram/last/next dram?    First dram was probably a White Horse, the blend from Lagavulin which was in it’s hay day away back then. Last dram was a Laphroaig 10 year old found in the back of my kitchen cupboard the other night in a honey jar! and next dram is probably going to be a Kilchoman 100% Islay

Where do you see yourself going in relation to whisky in next 10 years?   I want to learn lots more about maturation and blending. I find it so fascinating. I want to learn all this stuff then write about it in an accessible way for women (and men) so to demistify whisky, but by doing so one actually really appreciates the natural magic of it all.

What can the industry do to improve things for women?   More images of women and whisky in the media. Less guff about golf (for example) and exclusive clubs, don’t just advertise your stuff in whisky magazines, take it to the mainstream,  less big secret talk using words that sounds cool and are not explained to the less knowledgeable  to maintain a feeling of power in the talker! Making whisky connected to everyday things and stuff that people do ~ music, books, food, dance, sport, talking, poetry, parties.  Less guff about tasting and more about drinking with friends. Remembering that the drink comes from the elements and everyone is connected to the elements, so all people can connect with and drink whisky. Get whisky into spas and beauty parlours and bridal shops…… (maybe not hairdressers, though) it’s endless!

What’s next? I’m writing a whisky book which I hope will be ready next year ~ but I’m not exactly speedy so we will see.  I want to develop Slow Dram Whisky Tasting (very appropriate….) and go out and do tastings for people all over the world. I want to bring more women (and men) to Islay and take them round the distilleries. I think it’s great for people to see the dram being made and to taste it in the distillery. I made whisky at Bruichladdich and I signed the log book in the still house ~ it was a great feeling!

 

 

THANK YOU TO ALL THE WONDERFUL WOMEN WHO TOOK PART IN THIS ARTICLE ~ YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION, AND AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO DRINK WHISKY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
May. 21.

FEIS ILE ~ ISLAY WHISKY FESTIVAL

WHISKY FOR GIRLS are getting all geared up for one of the most important whisky weeks of the year

~ The Feis Ile ~ the Islay Festival of Music and Malt   http://www.theislayfestival.co.uk/index.php

The Feis Ile takes place from Friday 25 May ~ Sunday 3 June 2012

Islay and Jura have the ‘ FINE 9 ‘  single malt whisky distilleries, comprising

BRUICHLADDICH DISTILLERY http://www.bruichladdich.com/

LAPHROAIG DISTILLERY http://www.laphroaig.com/

BUNNAHABHAIN  DISTILLERY http://www.bunnahabhain.com/

LAGAVULIN DISTILLERY

KILCHOMAN DISTILLERY http://www.kilchomandistillery.com/

CAOL ILA DISTILLERY

ARDBEG DISTILLERY http://www.ardbeg.com/ardbeg/

BOWMORE DISTILLERY  http://www.bowmore.com/age-verification

ISLE OF JURA DISTILLERY http://www.isleofjura.com/home.aspx

Each distillery puts on masterclasses, bands, food, entertainment, education and DRAMS for the discerning visitors.

It is not possible to get a bed on Islay that week ~ you have to bring your own!    Only kidding…..

All the great and the good of the whisky world (that means the whisky lovers of this world) descend on Islay & Jura, and the place is jumping!

This year WHISKY FOR GIRLS will have a stand at the Bruichladdich Distillery, the Laphroaig Distillery and the Bunnahabhain Distillery ~ to name but a few. 

Whisky for Girls will be wandering about at the other places too, so watch out for us.

Whisky for Girls want to speak with all the whisky loving women who have come to Islay to sample our magical malts and find out your stories. 

We also have an interview lined up with the wonderfully skilled whisky blender from Bowmore Distillery, the amazing Rachel Barrie.

Rachel Barrie created Ardbeg’s super whiskies of old, so Whisky for Girls are waiting with bated breath to sample the great drams she will create for Bowmore.

We will be speaking with Rachel sometime during the festivities.  Watch out for her interview on here soon after everyone has gone home ~ and are needing something good to cheer them up!

 As we get more organised for the exciting events to come Whisky for Girls will keep you updated with what’s happening.

 If you haven’t already booked your ferry tickets over to Islay ~ why not??

Oh, well, there is always next time………

SLIDERIMAGE 2
May. 19.

WHISKY FOR GIRLS SONG

Whisky for Girls have had a song written specially for us.

The very talented singer songwriter Pauline Bradley https://www.facebook.com/Pozzyb 

 

has written a song for us called Whisky for the Girls

It is sung to the tune of Whiskey in the Jar ~ and it is great!

It tells the story of a girl meeting Captain Flannel and he takes her to a party,  but he is a bit salacious,  and  there is no whisky, so she leaves.

She travels further and meets a guy who takes her to an ale house but still no use as there is no whisky, so she leaves.

She then sees a woman standing like an angel with a glass of whisky, or is she a rebel?

So, she follows her and goes to a brilliant party where they are laughing and dancing and drinking whisky.

And they sing ~ It’s Whisky for the Girls!

Pauline came to Islay for a couple of days this week, had a tour round the distilleries and sampled a few choice drams.

She played music where ever she went. We had a wonderful time.

Whisky for Girls and Pauline intend to record the song ~  perhaps with a couple of skirls of the pipes thrown in for good measure.

The song will be available on cd and as an internet down load.

 We will keep you posted as to when it will be available to purchase.

Whisky for Girls thank Pauline Bradley very much for writing this wonderful song for us ~ and more importantly;  becoming our friend.

We will be singing this song for years to come ~ in Islay and all over the world!

 Myself and Pauline toasting the song @ Bruichladdich Distillery. Notice the piece of paper on the table near Pauline’s hand?  ~ That is the very special song sheet!

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