By Rob Allanson

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Star letter - Visiting times Thank you for some great reading and informative whisky education. My copies of the magazine are jealously guarded as they remain a reference.I was particularly interested in the piece by Ian Buxton at the how and why of collecting.Having started an alphabetic collection of single malts originally, I changed in favour of collecting in the 10 to 30 year old range where I have found that other than the 15 and 21 year olds, the odd number ages are generally challenging to secure and certainly, any product over 18 years old is usually relatively expensive.Last September we spent a delightful 10 days touring Scotland with an itinerary specifically planned around distillery visits. I was able to add a few special items to my collection but the lesson learnt was buy it when you see it and don't rely on finding the same thing in Edinburgh on the way home!Our visits to Edradour and Tobermory were memorable. The experience underscored by the very obvious pride and passion that both the owner in the case of Edradour, and the distillery manager at Tobermory had for the process and their products.My collection is used but, as an unfortunate consequence of what seems to have become an unplanned pattern of "add two consume one", grows quite slowly.A few of the items in my collection remain sacrosanct for the time being. However, I have discovered that good single malts are like a good red wine; difficult to find at times, taste a personal preference, body and a distinctive "flavour" an absolute must but, most importantly like red wine, quality should never be confused with price.Edradour and Tobermory would definitely feature in my next visit!Jon Eagar Kenilworth, Cape Town Copper fox As a newcomer to the world of whisky I seek out and enjoy publications such as yours for "spirited" enlightenment and inspiration.I was especially interested in reading about the U. S. micro distilleries featured in your most recent issue as I purposefully support small, family run businesses whether brewery, winery, distillery or local farm.There is an additional U. S micro distillery that your readers may be interested in learning more about in a future issue of your magazine.Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox Distillery, located in Sperryville, VA has moved beyond revolutionary with his Wasmund's Single Malt Whisky.I believe that they are still the only distillery in North America to hand malt their own barley, and the only distillery in the world to use toasted apple and cherry wood smoke to flavour the malt.They have also recently introduced a tremendously popular "Whisky Making Starter Kit" complete with two bottles of their clear Single Malt or clear Rye spirit packaged together with a lightly charred two litre American white oak mini-barrel.Barrels of fun!!Cheryl Targos (via email)