By Rob Allanson

Welcome to Whisky Magazine

Sometimes it’s funny you know. After sitting watching companies sending out their new offerings into the wider world, the shoe is now on the other foot.I think I now have a greater understanding of the time taken when bringing out a new whisky, relaunching or even repackaging an old favourite. The planning, research, sampling, debate, testing, retesting...and then it just happens.Now the fruits of several months work here at Whisky Towers goes off into the great beyond, to be poured over, analysed and at the end of the day enjoyed.I guess it’s not something every editor gets to do, but I have really enjoyed getting to grips with redesigning the magazine.Well when I say that, it makes it sound like it was all my own work, but thankfully it’s not.Only being a journalist at heart my preoccupations lie with words and pictures, take me deep into the heartland of fonts, paper weights and CMYK colourings and I start getting a little twitchy and sweaty.As a writer you just pick what’s to hand, normally Times Roman or Ariel (at which point the design team usually tut at me) and commit your heart’s outpourings to the page.So it has been an interesting journey bringing the latest incarnation of Whisky Magazine to fruition. I have to mention in dispatches the design team: Paul and Alicia pretty much do all the hard work making these pages look their best.They are the unsung heroes of the magazine and I doff my cap to the pair of them. I hope you will agree there has been a breath of fresh air breathed into these pages and I hope you like them.Elsewhere there have been new clothes, and liquid, for several companies, and I have been honoured to be allowed in early on in the proceedings.When you get a phone call out of the blue from Glenmorangie saying that Dr Bill and Annabel Meikle are going to drop in, then you know something is afoot.The pair unveiled the new Glenmorangie look; bottles, liquid and tasting guide. If you find these new offerings on the shelves you will not be disappointed, they are just like a best friend who has been away for a while.Also we received the first bottlings of the new Chieftains Cigar Malt, now in three versions.Samples have been sent off our tastings gurus and my fingers are crossed as I was involved in the selection panel.A great day that was. Ensconsed in a lovely hotel just south of the Scottish border.This was before the smoking ban had reached England so the Scots came south – just. A raft of samples, some brilliant cigars and I made my choices. Will be interesting to see how they are received by the wider smoking and drinking community.So there is plenty out there, and in these pages to enjoy…take your time, honest it is all rewarding.