March 19, 2010

POD FODDER:

You Had Me At Hello: The Whisky Podcasts of Richard Paterson (KATE SHEA KENNON, 3/18/10, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

The podcasts for Whyte and Mackay Whisky may be superficially infomercials for its blended Scotch, but with Masterblender Richard Paterson, they are pure entertainment. If you spend a few minutes with the whisky expert, you are attending a whisky college as well as being tempted to buy a bottle. That's whiskey with no "e," don't forget.

The podcasts are not merely a "here, buy my product" marketing tool. They are an education. One podcast explains the history of the shape and color of nineteenth-century glass bottles. Another explains the distinctive flavors each area of Scotland exhibits through the country's 106 collective distilleries. As described by Mr. Paterson, some areas of Scotland have a scotch with a more peaty flavor. Others areas, close by the ocean, have a scotch with a salty taste. With no surprise and maybe more than a touch of favoritism, Mr. Paterson claims that the lowland area that Whyte and Mackay calls home gives its whisky a "light-bodied charm and and elegance."

Mr. Paterson too has a light charm and elegance.[...]


Even if you are not a whisky lover, which I confess I am not, take a look at Mr. Paterson's work; you will get an enlightenment into both drink and country. You'll get an understanding of the elaborate culture that Scotch Whisky has grown up around itself. And at the very least, you'll have a good idea of how to order a whiskey in a bar and how to dress down the bartender if he or she dares to put ice in that whisky.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 19, 2010 5:45 AM
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