You know, sometimes it takes one of those late night malt moments to realise what it is all about: where you fit in, what life really means and how whisky pervades everything.
Now I am not talking about whisky in an analytical, writing, pulling apart drams sense; I am talking about what I really think it was made for: chilling and kicking back with friends, how whisky fits into life.
Whisky Magazine hitting this major 100th edition has given me pause for thought; to look back over things, career, friends and some incredible drinking moments.
These are the moments in whisky which really matter for me. We can all talk about the flavour, the terroir or the techy production and maturation methods, but its essence is the people behind it, the moments where that special dram becomes the cement fixing the event, creating the touchstones of memory.
One of my favourite of these recently was relaxing and chatting about life, the universe and everything with a very good friend over a cigar and a couple of drams under the African night sky. A conversation that could only be meant for that moment, with the various planets, stars and moon as an audience.
There was also the bottle of Oban slowly finished with some of my closest friends sealing my decision to move to Inverness after University; the dram of Highland Park in honour of my grandfather in the club he always drank in; the cask drawn samples I have shared with many friends in various warehouses across the whisky world; the hipflask of Shackleton’s whisky shared with good mates reaching the top of Ben Nevis this summer. The liquid is always part of the most profound experiences, the glue that binds us.
I hope within the 100 issues that make up Whisky Magazine’s past you have found the inspiration to illuminate your own whisky moments and memories.
Our writing team now stretches to many continents and countries to bring you the in-depth stories that matter, helping you understand more about the liquid you have just poured into your glass.
I am a firm believer that first-hand experiences inform excellence in journalism. This is why our network of contributing editors and correspondents continues to spread around the whisky world, reporting and commenting in situ. From Glasgow to the High Veldt, Kentucky to Sydney, Whisky Magazine will continue to bring you the stories that matter from the best commentators out there.
Looking forward into next year, I may not be able to promise you the immediacy of the blogosphere, that is not what a magazine is about, rather our writers have the time to consider, analyse and comment in depth. This is what good journalism is about.
To mark the 100th edition we have decided to release three separate covers for you to collect. Each one represents the essence of our three main features. Über-premium Scotch, which is making waves across the globe, the Jack Daniel Distillery that continues to be exert a massive pull for devotees from across the world and the vision of Masataka Taketsuru for Japanese whisky, which is now much sought after by the whisky world.
We hope you like them and will raise a glass to the next 100 editions.