By Rob Allanson

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Star letter - Let's band together
I particularly liked the article "Loaded" that appeared in Issue 68. Having been a malt enthusiast for a while, I can completely relate to "Kate" who was mentioned in the article. I too started my excursions into malt whisky with a budget of about $40-$50 per bottle. I see this grow with each year that passes and I now do not think it is so crazy to buy a $200-$250 bottle of whisky. There are however, many whiskies that I will never taste due to the price. Which leads to my topic of this letter. We as whisky enthusiasts must support each other and help one another along the way as much as possible. I am not implying that we must buy our neighbors $250 whiskies for the sake of letting them try it but I do believe that we can open each other to a world of whisky that might not have been experienced otherwise. It boils down to creativity and putting some passion and time into it.This year, I will be teaching a class here in Rhode Island that focuses on Scotch. I am not doing this class to become rich but rather to help others who were in the same place as me six years ago. I remember the feeling of walking into the whisky section of a liquor store and being dumbfounded and not having a clue.Hopefully with my class, others will have the chance to try a whisky that they otherwise would not have afforded or known to try.Sure, the class costs a fee but all in all, it will be much cheaper than purchasing all of the individual whiskies tasted that evening.A few other suggestions to try some whiskies that may be out your price range.Be on the lookout for tastings in your area. Organise a whisky group in your area.Become active in the whisky community.There are many friends out there to meet and through connections, you may learn of tastings, events, and opportunities to tase some of these higher priced whiskies.Half the fun is being able to put lips to these cherished libations. With some thought and creativity, you too may be telling a story about the $2000 whisky you tried last night! Cheers!Auchentoshan revisited
I was very interested in the article in issue 68 on Auchentoshan Distillery.In the 1970s I taught in Clydebank College, quite near to the distillery and managed to arrange a trip to Auchentoshan for my students in Industrial Studies. Our guide for the visit was a retired worker who had been in the distillery during the infamous Clydebank Blitz.The real target of the Luftwaffe was John Brown's shipyard in Clydebank, but a fake village was built on the Kilpatrick Hills near Auchentoshan to lure the bombers away from their target.Unfortunately the distillery itself was hit, and subsequently quantities of ignited spirit flowed down the Duntocher Burn, illuminating Clydebank itself, which meant that the next wave of German bombers were able to hit the town. After telling us this story, the guide then delivered his punch line about these awful events,"Aye, he said, "a hulluva waste of guid whisky." Ian R Mitchell, Glasgow,Scotland,UK ENTRY OF THE MONTH
The best letter in each issue wins a bottle of Berrys'Blue Hanger 30 Years Old. It offers soft citrus aromas that are intermingled with leather, custard and pears, which lead onto an elegant butterscotch and orange peel palate with a dry smoky finish.The bottle will be mailed to the winner if their address is within the EU.Given regulations, winners from outside the EU may collect their prize from Berry Bros. & Rudd in London at a convenient time to the recipient.