By Rob Allanson

Welcome to Whisky Magazine

I have been reaquainting myself recently with an old literary favourite of mine from many years ago through the joys of the internet, who knew the digital revolution could be so fun?Garrison Keillor, he of Lake Wobegon fame, now has a podcast of news from Lake Wobegon, and with the little snow we have had here at Whisky Towers, and it was only a powdering, it’s been great to listen to Mr Keillor’s deep baritone voice with a glass of something smokey to keep out the cold.However unlike Lake Wobegon, it’s not been a quiet week or even month here in Norwich, my home town. In fact the large,worry some object I call my carbon footprint has been having a bit of a growth spurt of late, all in the name of whisky.It started with a quick trip to Edinburgh to catch up with our Scottish distiller of the year, Inver House. A word to the wise would be to watch this company this year, there are some cracking things in the pipeline.Next was a great meeting with the Highland Park crowd and their latest matured offering. I have to say it will be worth finding on the shelves when it is finally released.I had a very memorable whisky experience at one of Edinburgh’s finest whisky restaurants. Abstract, nestling in the shadow of the castle, is the sister venue of the impressive Glenmoriston hotel near Inverness.For the whisky enthusiast the best thing happens after dinner. Apart from having one of the biggest cheese selections I have seen in a while, if you order a whisky this rumbling and rolling noise heralds in, yes you guessed it, a whisky trolley.Hurray for French dining flair, a trolley full of whisky, and not just your average bottles, here was Auchentoshan’s 73, Glenrothes 84, the Glenmorangie selection, a couple of Islays and a smattering of Macallan. Bliss for matching with the cheese.Most recently my travels have taken me much further afield to Tokyo, for Whisky Live and to discover more about the phenomenal rise of Japanese whisky.I think the week I spent there has enough material to last me a couple of columns, even just trying to describe the differences, that Lost in Translation feeling.In fact Mr Broom and I came fairly close to Bill Murray’s experience when we headed out for dinner by ourselves, out of the English speaking staff confines of the hotel.Walking through the streets near the station past the various establishments it was a case of “look it’s got pictures!” Not that this helped when it came to ordering, when we tried to tell the waiter he could choose for us.We did get some good food though.More next time, but suffice it to say that there is some incredible whisky coming from the Far East and it is worth searching out.