It has been an extremely eventful year thus far and overdue for me to ket the fingers flying on the keyboard for another Singlemalting Blog. Earlier this year I had the absolute honour to travel to Scotland and attend the Spring induction of the Keepers of the Quaich. If you are unfamiliar with this organization for Scotch Whisky you can read all about them on their website here.
After living my whisky passion that has been for the most part a Scotch Whisky Journey for the past 15 years it was thrilling to be included alongside so many incredible people. Everything from the walk up the red carpet surrounded by an honor guard and pipers to the swearing in ceremony, epic banquet and opportunity to talk whisky together was nothing short of mind blowing.
Even the whiskies on the table paired with dinner were extra special including a Single Cask bottling of Talisker especially for the Keepers of the Quaich that had me more than a few drams in by the end of the night.
My gorgeous wife Cindy has been a big part of my inspiration and journey into this fantastic world of whisky and I was so glad to have her alongside me for such a special moment.
There are roughly only 2500 Keepers in the world and there are only 60 to 70 added each year shared between two ceremonies in the Spring and Fall. In this elite company of Scotch Whisky lovers are some absolute industry legends. As I sat listening to the achievements of the other Masters and new Keeper inductees I had to pinch myself that I was becoming part of it all.
From across the globe the 38 new keepers at my induction all had amazing stories to tell. Some working tirelessly for big brands, some breaking new markets, some like myself working with independents but all living and breathing the world of Scotch Whisky.
To my knowledge there are very few Keepers that are Canadian and even less that are Australian. I could probably safely bet that I might be the only Keeper that is both.
I have to say a massive thankyou to my nominator Stuart Nickerson of the Malt Whisky Company. Many of you have read my reviews of his whiskies over the years and having the chance to stay with Stuart and Wilma at their home was hospitality of the highest order. A special thankyou to Wilma who somehow even with a 30 minute roadblock managed to get us to the ball on time. The other industry legend that I must thank is Tim Morrison of A.D. Rattray and Clydeside Distillery who backed up Stuarts nomination by seconding it and endorsing my membership. I have been working with A.D. Rattray for over 15 years now and so it was very special for me to have Mr Morrison as part of this milestone.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Cindy and I and Secret Spirits as we work to bring you amazing whiskies and our labor of love the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. Without you this would not have been possible.