Before I begin I want to make a few things clear in order to disassociate myself from the pernicious rumours circulating about my connections with a large and currently highly-embarrassed American energy company, and the questions that have been raised in some puritanically obsessive corners of the world of whisky enthusiasts about my integrity, impartiality and long-standing, well-publicised crusade for truth in whisky journalism.All payments received from said company in my role as Whisky Consultant to the Eriskay Frame Still project were legitimate fees for expenses and work in developing the distillery concept, advising on plans and equipment, and designing the specification for the new whisky. I was not directly associated in planning the distillery's power supply, nor negotiating with Scottish Parliament for the subsidies required to finance construction of what turned out to be the largest wind farm in the world. The chance miscalculation that led to the wind farm being over-specified hundred-fold was the work of another, and the subsequent royalties I have received from the sale of the consequent surplus energy to various Third World countries have all been paid into the John Haydock Trust, a legitimate charity registered in the Cayman Islands.That the planned distillery, nestling in the shadows of the wind farm that now dwarfs Ben Scrien, has still not been built, is, I'm assured, only due to a minor issue relating to effluent disposal that will shortly be resolved with the relevant local authorities and the respective European legislative bodies.The unfortunate publication of my predictive tasting notes for Eriskay's cask-strength, un-chillfiltered 20-year-old single malt was an unfortunate oversight on the part of this magazine and its sister publication, Wind Farm Weekly. That notwithstanding I stand by my observations that Eriskay's outstanding and quite unique character reflects its position as the most westerly distillery in Scotland, with a maritime nose as fresh as Scapa sea breeze, with unusual hints of German diesel oil and brine, a full-bodied salty taste with hints of smoke and spice, and long, only slightly acidic finish. When it is finally released this outstanding award winning hand-crafted frame-still malt, quite possibly the finest malt whisky in the world, will astonish connoisseurs the world over with its depth, complexity and rich sherry character. Awarded 12.5 points in my forthcoming Haydock's Guide to the World of Malt Whisky (acclaimed by Energy Monthly as 'quite possibly the finest whisky book in the world'), its unique propeller-shaped decanter can be admired in the 15-page feature on the new Eriskay Malt in Whisky Magazine's associate periodical, Offshore Banking Review.The distress that the scandalous and vindictive suggestions about the probity of my behaviour have brought to both myself, my family, and the closely-knit community of whisky writers, many of whom are my fellow non-executive directors on the board of Eriskay Distillery, Energy Services and Financial Factors plc goes without question. As does the potential damage to the editorial reputation of this revered organ, which by a quirky coincidence carries a four-page editorial on 'Eriskay and Energy - how whisky hero Haydock turned a dream into reality' in this edition, found between the two beautifully produced full-page advertisements placed by Western Isles Energy plc. Furthermore, the deep psychological scars carried by that nice man Marcin from the Whisky Magazine will take months to heal as he recuperates at my expense on my other island hideaway in the South Seas.Just how can my public be so fickle, turning with such venom on the one man who has stood out like a beacon for the highest standards of honesty and moral integrity in whisky journalism? And all over one such trivial misunderstanding?
But as I write this at a desk in the stateroom of my yacht Politician, cruising in the tropical waters of the Spice Islands, I vow to return and reclaim my place at the forefront of the spirits world's scribblers. And just look at the pieces I have planned for your delight in future editions of The Whisky and Hydro-Electric Magazine (as I understand it will be known). 'Haydock unravels the truth behind all the marvellous cask finishes produced at Tain'. 'Exposed - why Haydock says Macallan is so good'. 'Scandal - is it possible that the new Ardbeg is quite possibly even better than the last?'. 'Revealed: why is Johnnie Walker the best blend on earth?' 'Outrage - Glenlivet is really rather nice, says pioneering investigative reporter Haydock'.This will re-establish Haydock's pen as the most authoritative impartial source in malt whisky. I will single-handedly restore the confidence of Whisky Magazine readers in myself and my colleagues.Perspicuous, pre-emptive, pertinent and pure as the driven snow, my prosaic prose will once more provide penetrating insights into the paradoxically pleasing yet perplexing pantheon of single malt.