Another from a series of Featured Blogs interviews, we ask Barry Bradford (@thewhiskyphiles) from The WhiskyPhiles, blog to chat to us about why they set up their blog, and their whisky history.
Why did you start your Whisky website?
Numerous reasons, I had developed a real passion for whisky over several years, using The Balvenie’s Warehouse 24 site to record my tasting notes and opinions. A combination of the closure of this function on their site and loss of my notes combined with a meeting with Sam (Dr Whisky) Simmons and Charles Maclean at a Balvenie tasting event led me to the idea of starting my own tasting note compendium. I liked the idea of having something online as I could quickly check which whiskies I have or haven’t tried before and also quickly look up comparisons in terms of age, maturation, distillery or character, what I thought of them and how much I enjoyed them.
What is your earliest Whisky Memory?
Sampling Glenmorangie 10 Year Old on Christmas Eve, thanks to my Step-father who always enjoyed a few drams around Christmas time. I also remember the ‘Glen of Tranquility’ advertising campaign on TV at around the same time as well as it being the preferred tipple of Highlander Connor Macleod in the 1986 film of the same name, ageing me at around 10 years old too.
In no particular order what 3 Whiskies would you recommend to someone new to whisky?
Balvenie Doublewood 12 Years Old
Old Pulteney 12 Years Old
Lagavulin 16 Years Old
If you don’t like these then you don’t like whisky! Just kidding, I have met plenty of people that declare they don’t like whisky but have never failed to convert any of them. There is a whisky out there for everybody! If you don’t like these then keep trying, there are hundreds of others…
Money no object, what Whisky would you love to own and open?
Port Ellen 1976 40 year old (Diageo Special Release 2016) :-D If they decide not to release this then I guess something single cask from Karuizawa or Yoichi. I guess I am more into the concept of things being rare or meaningful in some way than specifically targeting any one whisky. In truth my answer is ‘a whisky I haven’t tried yet’.
Would you have any tips for other Whisky drinkers?
Be open-minded, explore the diversity of whisky and ignore marketing, drink it how you like it, share it with friends, take part in a blind tasting, definitely take part in a tasting with a wonderful and knowledgeable host. Sample whisky at the distillery, Visit Scotland! And most important of all enjoy it and have fun – after all whisky is made for drinking!
Why should people visit your website?
At The Whiskyphiles we are about loving and enjoying whisky in all its guises. If you have a passion for whisky I hope you will find something of interest, perhaps a tasting note or review that sparks your curiosity? We also love questions, comments and talking to other people who are passionate about whisky so please feel free to get in touch.
Many thanks to Barry and please remember to go visit the website at The WhiskyPhiles
You can also check out our Interviews section for more interviews.
Barry and Robin