By Rupert Wheeler

Managing Editor's Word

Edinburgh Rocks
Scottish hospitality at its best
By the time this magazine is published Burns night will be well and truly over. However, I just thought considering its importance in relation to the wee dram that I would belatedly hope that those of you who attended a Burns night had a great time.

January is one of those months where energy is at its lowest but new resolutions are at their highest. I spent some of the Christmas break working on new ideas and features for the magazine for the forthcoming year. A number of these will start to appear shortly, but it always surprises me as to how long this process takes.

Considering that I first discussed with Dave Broom and Neil Ridley the possibility of a feature on creating a blend of their own back in March 2014, it has taken an inordinate amount of time to out this in place. I hasten to add it was all to do with logistics, not the contenders. Round One is now complete and I am extremely keen for our readers to get involved, to let me know what you think of the blend and what you would have included or even excluded. I am so keen that I am offering free, yes free, copies of The Whisky Manual by Dave Broom for the first five letters that I receive on this subject to I think that this is going to turn into a challenging event and we have commissioned Steven Shand to illustrate the feature. Steven is not just an illustrator but also works in the whisky business, and with his in-depth knowledge, the illustration will grow with each issue.

We are delighted to announce that Teeling Whiskey will be our new sponsor for the Whisky Magazine Photo Challenge. I urge all our readers to enter this competition as we have made it a very easy process to enter at Teeling are at the vanguard of whiskey distilling in Ireland and in the process of installing a new distillery in Dublin. The new stills were installed just before Christmas and Teeling intend to start producing whiskey in March 2015.

Just before Christmas I was involved in presenting the Icons of Whisky Scotland awards at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. I have extremely fond memories of Edinburgh for two reasons. Firstly, when I was involved in book publishing, a large amount of printing was done at various Scottish printers, one of which was based just outside Edinburgh, in Musselburgh. On every visit, my Scottish hosts invited, no insisted, that I sampled not only multiple drams of whisky but also copious amounts of beer. A thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all. And secondly, my youngest son was lucky enough, with his school, to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on two occasions, both of which we attended. We really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the festival and seeing if a review of the play made it into The Scotsman on the following day.

The awards ceremony went down extremely well and my thanks go to Joel Harrison for co-hosting the event with me. We have just announced the Icons of Whisky Rest of World winners and all the relevant winners from each category, America, Rest of World and Scotland, now go forward to the Icons of Whisky Global awards which will be announced in the next issue.

I have received a number of emails from readers expressing an interest in investing in whisky and this is something that Jonny McCormack, our resident expert, keeps a close eye on. I have not started this process yet but when my eldest son was born back in 1982 I bought a case of 1977 Graham's Port. I cannot remember exactly how much it cost but it was in the region of £100 for a case of 12 bottles. Looking this up on the internet, today this is being quoted at £900 for a case. I have no intention of selling it but it looks like quite a good investment.

With this in mind Hans Offringa, a regular contributor to the magazine, has written the first in a new series we are doing on collectables; glasses and decanters is how we are starting. For those of you without a deep pocket, collecting and investing in collectables could be an easier and cheaper option.

And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best for 2015.