By Dominic Roskrow

Fight back now!

Are whisky drinkers getting the sort of service standards they – and the product – deserves? Not according to Dominic Roskrow they're not.And enough's enough
There are a few things that really get my goat, but two of them relate to the way whisky is presented to customers in top hotels, bars and restaurants.Number one is when a supposedly top establishment has a whisky list which is shorter than the list of strikers at Chelsea football club.You’ve had a fancy meal, the sommelier has humiliated you by presenting a wine list in a book the size of the Bible, and then after dinner you opt for a whisky. And all they have is the classic malts range and an uninspiring bourbon.How can this happen? How can someone invest millions in making an establishment a cradle of finery and luxury and then get the bar selection wrong?I stayed in a Highland resort recently with five bars, one of which had been named ‘the whisky bar.’ To me that’s like calling a bar ‘the alcoholic drinks bar.’ In Scotland every bar should be a whisky bar. It’s a given.It doesn’t take a lot of effort to create a small and stimulating whisky list and the failure of a venue to bother offends me as much as over-attentive waiting staff, having a bloke in the toilets to hand visitors a drying towel, and the misuse of an apostophe on the specials board.Okay so maybe I’m a bit strange, but all three give me indigestion.The second thing that gets my back up is ordering a malt and receiving it in a tumbler.Atumbler is wrong. We should campaign against whisky in tumblers. If you are handed whisky in a tumbler, refuse it. If it’s in the United Kingdom you can probably claim against the venue under the weights and measures act because by the time the barman has handed over the whisky, which barely covers the bottom of a tumbler due to small British measures, much of it will have evaporated.I know all this makes me sound anoraky, but think about it: some tree grew for 100 years before it was made in to a barrel. It’s taken centuries to perfect a distillery’s malt.Craftsmen have worked on it carefully and precisely, and it has been nurtured for 12, 18, or more years. It has been bottled, and finally selected for purchase at the bar by a malt enthusiast, no doubt at considerable cost.Then some prat in over-priced sleeping establishment has chucked it across the bar in what is the glassware equivalent of the Lada.It’s like giving someone a Cartier watch in a McDonald’s bag.All of which is why we have decided to launch a new scheme to recognise bars that do get it right. We are going to admit any bar that we consider good enough to our ‘great whisky bars of the world’ club and give them a certificate to show that this is the case.To qualify they need only meet some very basic standards: a good (but not necessarily extensive) choice of whisky including American and Irish, knowledgeable staff, the right glasses.The bars can be in back street boozers or five star hotels, we really don’t care as long as they’re treating their whisky right.The next task is finding them. So if you’ve got any suggestions then please email them to me – the more the merrier.The fight back starts here. Let’s shout about the quality outlets, and shame the tumbler brigade in to changing their ways.