Drinking whisky is all about an experience; taking your time to learn about each dram, understanding the distilleries history, the processes and equipment used, the maturation, the finish (if there is one) and then trying to understand it and put the experience in to your own words. Although taste is a very individual thing, sharing the journey of whisky discovery sits at the very core of the whole experience. It cries out to be the subject of debate, to challenge your senses and individual interpretations, allowing people to find their dram and the way they want to drink it.
Chris McCandless wrote “happiness is only real, when shared...” and happiness for us is whisky and it is definitely an experience that is best shared; with friends, with family, but what an experience to share with your life partner! That is why the second instalment of our ‘People of Whisky’ series focuses on the stories from couples who share a love for whisky.
Suppose we’re lucky in that we both enjoy our drams and can share this journey together.
For Andy and Hellen (@andyhels) their whisky journey began in the mid 80s, when an ex-RAF colleague introduced them to whisky! Their opening dram, a Laphroaig 10, split opinions as Hells adored it from the get go, but Andy was not a fan. However, Andy then got passed a Bunnahabhain 12, which became his epiphany dram (the dram that provides the ‘aha’ moment, when you discover whisky and realize it is something you like and want to explore) and is still one of his favourite drams to this day (he is never without a bottle or two in the cupboard!).
There was a brief pause on their journey, due to health issues, before they rediscovered their love for the water of life during a visit to the Lakes, just after the Distillery had opened their doors! Since then, they have not looked back, with a blossoming collection that has grown significantly from half a dozen bottles at the start, to nearly 200 these days! Their tastes have also broadened and they both now enjoy most styles of whisky… “Suppose we’re lucky in that we both enjoy our drams and can share this journey together.” They have also introduced their youngest son to a dram or two, with his epiphany dram being the amazing Ledaig 10! “He seems to have inherited our good taste LOL.”
They love their whisky journey and since joining The Whisky Nest have discovered the @sonoma Cherrywood Smoked Bourbon, which they both thought was fabulous. Their favourite drams are a mix of the new and old world, with Andy opting for The Lakes Quatrefoil Faith, whilst Hells is loving a Craigallechie 13!
“… Looking forward to seeing what the future holds on our Journey together!”
Andy & Hellen
We love sharing a dram with anyone…
The early whisky drinking experiences for Anthony & Nicky (@newdramdrinker) included drinking JD & Coke whilst listening to 80’s metal, in particular Slash from Guns & Roses. It wasn’t until Anthony went on holiday with a group of friends, who actually drank & collected whisky, that his eyes were opened to what the world of whisky was all about! Around the same time, he was celebrating 25 years at work and his company allowed him to choose a gift… He went for a bottle of Glenmorangie 10, which was the start of his whisky collection.
As his passion and intrigue grew, Anthony struggled to find any social channels that were dedicated to people who were ‘new’ to whisky, so started the New Dram Drinker YouTube channel to document his personal journey of whisky discovery, as a complete novice. This started to take up more of Anthony’s time and Whisky suddenly became ‘the other woman’ in their marriage. Intrigued and a little jealous, Nicky decided to get involved and asked to be part of New Dram Drinker, an idea that Anthony actually loved! However, there was one big problem… She didn’t like whisky! An intense, self-imposed whisky induction ensued until she found her ‘infinity dram…’ A Glenglassaugh PX.
Although they now share their journey of whisky discovery with each other and the members in their communities, setting up the Certified Originals Members Club during Lockdown as a way to stay connected with their viewers and friends during a difficult time, they still have very different tastes. For Anthony, to pick a favourite whisky is a task he says is ‘impossible,’ although he loves a dram of a whisky with lots of peat, such as Octomore. Nicky’s favourite style at the moment is a sweet and smoky whisky with a hint of peat, and she loves starting the evening with a cocktail.
They are amazed to see how many new friends they have made whilst on their journey and the whisky-drinking community has astounded them with its generosity in giving NDD and CO their time, knowledge and even samples to try. They are now enjoying the opportunity to meet with many of their new friends and you can check out their videos on YouTube using the following link: https://www.youtube.com/c/NewDramDrinker
Anthony & Nicky
We share the drams on the tastings… drinking them neat before experimenting.
For Michael & Rach (@thedramduo), a pair of young millennials, their journey in to whisky started when Rach got Michael a tasting experience at the Soho Whisky House as a birthday present, due to Michael already having an interest in whisky. He was then gifted a whisky subscription and the two of them started sharing the drams that came through the door each month. In January 2021, as a lockdown project, they decided to start an Instagram page and 12-months later, they are sampling the world, one dram at a time and sharing their experiences. They are also members of various distilleries and multiple subscription boxes (7 at the last count!).
Their palettes are very different, along with what whiskies are their favourites, but they start off drinking a lot of whisky neat, maybe adding the odd granite ice block to see how the flavours change. They write plenty of notes and rate each whisky for their blog, before setting about experimenting with cocktails and different serves.
“We both love a highball, but our favourite cocktail has to be an Old Fashioned.” However, for the rest their tastes are very different… Michael’s favourite whisky is a Glenfarclas 25 and his favourite distillery is Laphroaig, whilst Rach is set on the Kilchoman Loch Gorm and loves what Bimber are doing.
Michael and Rach are a great example of how whisky can be for everyone and we love to see couples that are sharing a journey in to whisky. You can find them on Instagram and see their blog reviews at www.thedramduo.com
Michael & Rach