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Live Lady Of The Glen Whisky Tasting

Tasting begins with the newest release 21 year old Glen Garioch, the 20 year old Secret Speyside, the 16 year old Ben Nevis and the 26 year old Bunnahabhain.

Read more on the new Scotsman Food and Drink webpage to find all the latest issues and reviews in Scotland’s Food and Drink sector.


It was guitar lesson Friday and I had two Whisky tastings; a live tasting with Sean Murphy at Scotsman Food and Drink and a tasting at Royal Mile Whiskies with Rock Town (to be blogged about later), it was going to be another tough day…

I was fortunate to bump into Sean on the way in to the Scotsman building in Edinburgh because there was a requirement for key cards to get access anywhere and me being a shy individual with no receptionist waiting, I could have awkwardly wandered in the lobby like a lost child for ages.

Sean took me through the journalistic tumult of the Scotsman which as it turned out was not as much of a tumult as implied in the high octane Daily Bugle or even the Daily Planet newspapers. In fact everyone was diligently working away in a similar way as they do in any office; quiet, respectable and communicating in whispers. However, the Scotsman staff are blessed with one of the best panoramic views of Edinburgh I have ever seen.

It was while I was sat in the wee filming room, with no windows and a heavily locked door, that Sean advised me that the tasting was in fact live and that it was a one take type thing that would last 20 minutes and be broadcast live to anyone tuning in on google+, I was terrified and, apparently as the tasting reveals, my body combats fear by projecting laziness.

Sean was attempting to set me at ease by running through the tasting and what questions he would ask me before we filmed so I would not stutter and he also guided me on live tasting etiquette like no talking over people or waiting for questions to end and not squirming too much in your seat because of the noise it makes. As the camera and clock were placed at the ready I forgot most of what my responses were meant to be, my mind went blank and I was in that place where I was getting my driving test and I couldn’t point out anything during the ‘Show me Tell me’ engine (I still passed first time).   

As we rolled through the tasting it actually became enjoyable especially after the first dram was down, then it just turned into a conversation with a friend.

During the tasting Sean engaged me with questions about how the business started and the idea behind it. We sampled the newest release 21 year old Glen Garioch, the 20 year old Secret Speyside, the 16 year old Ben Nevis and finally the 26 year old Bunnahabhain. At the end I was also given the opportunity to reveal some of the future releases due out this year.

When the tasting was over I was elated – I suddenly felt a lot less warm and relaxed. The Whisky that was left over in each of the glasses was shared with the Scotsman staff as an afternoon tipple and it was warmly received. In addition I had a great chat with one member of the team who, after spotting my guitar, told me about John Martyn and how he was attempting to learn the epic ‘Seven Black Roses’

I would like to give a huge thanks to Sean Murphy for inviting me to do the tasting and the staff at the Scotsman who were so nice!


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