Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Nov. 03.

Guest Writer ~ Victor Brierley RANTING well about the whisky world!

Whisky for Girls (& Guys!) introduce a whisky maverick who tells it like it is ~ talk about shaking up the whisky world : never mind talking! ~ just do it .

Here he is ~ our very own GUEST WRITER ~ VICTOR BRIERLEY ~ @cullenskinky and The Drinking Classes  and Whisky Mavericks


Whisky for Girls

 Right, can I begin by saying I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to whisky ‘gangs’. Firstly I have had some of the best times ever (some on Islay) with a fun, avant garde bunch of whisky lovers, who don’t really give a stuff about convention and really do what the hell they want. These are people who probably aren’t members of an official ‘group’ and people who would generally run a million miles from an organised possee, promoting our National Drink. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, who would want to join a club that would accept them as a member? Warm, fun, gracious, generous but above all, non-serious. Last time I looked, whisky was a drink, not a scientific paper to be learned or a religious experience to undertake.

 And then…there are are the ‘official’ gangs, the ‘Groups’. The Scotch Psychopaths, Whisky for Mathematicians,The No-Girlfriends of Norway Imbibers. And yes, I have to say it, the ‘Dames for Drams’, ‘Bitches fur Bevvy’ and the other ‘Girl Power’ gangs, inspired by Thatcher, Ginger Spice and Edwina Currie (that’s a joke). Whisky is NOT just for slightly chubby North American blokes of a certain age, its’s for WOMEN too! Emily Pankhurst chained herself to railings for this?

 So, why would such a pink-mastheaded collective of strong willed ‘gals’ get a ‘sexist’, ‘arrogant’, ‘outsider’ (some of the whisky gang mutterings, not mine) to write a wee bit? No bloody idea but seeing as you asked, a few words on what I like and don’t like is what you will get.

 As someone who is banned from SMWS in Edinburgh because ‘I don’t know what I am talking about’ and as someone who clearly thinks a large percentage of whisky posturing is embarrassing bollocks, I really can’t think of a WORSE person to write for this blog. Which is probably why I like the people who asked me and why they, consequently, find me quite interesting, or they wouldn’t have asked me.

 So, what do I like and not like? First ridiculous one is to give whisky marks out of 100. A beard, a ‘serious’ journalism pedigree (ooh ahhh…Daily Star?) and an inflated sense of your own talent helps here. Along with a God complex. And a hat. If you want to stifle the style out of Scotland’s house dram, this is a bloody good way to do it. Imagine if we looked at Art in the same way. “Yeah, the Soup Can is good but did Warhol HAVE to make it that shade of red? I’ll give it 84 out of 100″.

 Ironically, the bollocks whisky science may have gone a long way to popularising Whisky, at least, that’s what Panama Hat Pete and the Disciples of Jermaine Jackson might tell you. I think it’s ludicrous. Hushed tones, wee glasses with hats on, facial hair run riot (the blokes are just as bad) and a pompous, clubby (in a bad way) environment, which singles out Scotch as the trainspotters drink of choice.

 It seems to me that the guys and gals I DO like in Whisky Land spend minimum time telling you of their ‘right to belong’ and more time entertaining you and breaking down barriers in the Land of John Barleycorn.

 For example, I am not the eighth generation of whisky mafia, I don’t work in a distillery (although my son was conceived next to one, not in the stillroom, in the cottage next door) and I only have a beard when fashion dictates this. But, and this is the strange one, I am purveying the delights of Scotland’s famous sauce, to THOUSANDS of people, all over the UK, mainly ‘newbies’, whose knowledge of Murray and Jackson extends to Wimbledon piss-ups and the ‘Thriller’ video. I would like to think that this ‘spreading the Whisky love’ to novice drammers, reading what it says on the back of the bottle, marking the most attractive person in the room out of 100 and generally not giving a flying fig about paunchy, Port Ellen, prissy, protocol is the way to go. My lack of credentials and Panama hat a positive boon!

 Don’t get me wrong, most well-meaning Belgians and most of Scandinavia know shhh…edloads more about Uisge than me but thats where I think they are missing the point. There are others who have a ridiculous amount of knowledge but they don’t try to outsmartass you. They use this knowledge to entertain, not point-score against fellow collectors and blogging behemoths. I don’t do a blog, mainly because I can’t make money out of it and I can’t be arsed reading Booze-o-pedia type answers from those who don’t earn a living out of Whisky. Knowledge isn’t always Power.

 I’m old fashioned, I love the moonlight, I love the old fashioned ways, but I also love those like Blair Bowman, who, in spite of what many ‘bloggers’ think,  is getting a World Whisky Day off the ground. To make money, and do it based in Scotland. The audacity of the ‘boy’, he is trying to PROFIT out of something the ‘Industry’ should have done decades ago, outrageous! Okay, throw the old ‘xenophobia’ gauntlet down (some of my best friends are from Fife) but I reckon if young (or old) Scots want to get in-about Scotch, which is something that I earn my living from, I want more of them. I don’t want to see their Whisky Passport, collection, genetic lyne arm lineage or anything else. I want converts.

 I got into whisky because I was astounded that Scottish people drank vodka. At the moment, I would be happy if the UK fell in love with Scotch, let alone anywhere else.

I was at a Scotland v Holland meeting of minds recently and it’s clear that overseas, we are already developing friendly gangs, ones who like meeting, to laugh. I think the sooner we remove petty jealousies, silly rivalry and small time thinking in Scotland, the better.

 No Age Statement. Never mind about the gals, can we get young people involved?

 I love whisky. I love Scotland. I love Rock and Roll, put another dram on the jukebox, baby.

Santa loves Islay


Santa loves Islay ! ~ of course…..

By whiskyforgirls | Posted in Guest Writer Post | Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.