Dave Broom is no stranger to Whisky Magazine readers, I wouldn't hesitate to say to most people in the whisky world. Commentator, writer, star of big and little screen and font of knowledge, it is worth checking out his new website The Whisky Manual [thewhiskymanual.uk] to see what he has been up to.
For me, this is as close to the old Talisker 8 Years Old, which was my whisky lightbulb moment and made me fall in love with whisky in the first place. It always has to be there. It is strong and smoky, but also oily and sweet, and is everything you want from a Talisker. I remember drinking the old 8 Years Old one night heading to a ceilidh, in Assynt (the far north-west of Scotland) and it struck me that it was from this kind of landscape. It spoke to me emotionally, rather than simply being a beverage. This was when I decided I had to know more about this because it’s magical.
12 Years Old
An extraordinary distillery that again seems to distil its sense of place. It is in this amazing forest at the foot of a huge granite mountain. All Hakushus have this intense, green, grassy, mossy fragrance to them, even the smoky ones. It is a great example of a whisky that seems to be fragile and delicate but has a huge amount of complexity to it.
This is a wonderful single pot still in the old Dublin style. The ‘standard’ (if you can use such a terrible word) is this ludicrously drinkable, juicy, peachy, but also kind of oily whiskey, one of the great session drams. But the Johns Lane is the 100 per cent pot still and it’s Powers on steroids. It is big, rich, huge fruit, hedonistic deliciousness.
13 Years Old
A great dram, which was pretty much unknown until my dear friend Stephen Marshall masterminded its proper launch. It is magnificent. As a new make it is really sulphury and it takes a while for that to work itself out, but when it does you get this incredible heavy floral character coming through. A good contrast to the others I have chosen so far. It will also remind me of amazing times in this awesome little village that is home to three of the world’s greatest whisky bars.
A great whisky, blended grain loveliness, all thanks to the genius of John Glaser. Imagine, the first whisky he released after leaving Diageo is a blended grain. No one was bottling grain seriously until he did. It is utterly gorgeous, and I think it changed people’s view on how great grain whisky can be, and how complex.
A Brief final luxury
A lifetime supply of pens and paper, because I would have to be able to write and sketch.