Scotch cocktails. Try it. You'll like it.

on 12/12/10 at 1:35 pm

Spirits

Once you get past the intimidation factor, it’s a drink to enjoy on its own or (gasp) mixed.

Are Scotch cocktails anathema? I posed this question to Glenfiddich global ambassador Ian Millar when he was in town last month after the North of 50 Rare Whiskey Weekend in Banff.

My impression of Scotch drinkers is that they’re purists who only drink their whiskey neat, so I was curious about what someone with more than 35 years’ experience tasting, mashing, distilling and now promoting Scotch whisky, would say.

“There are too many rules and regulations, too many barriers regarding single malt Scotch whisky,” said Millar, who adds a couple drops of water to his 18-year-old Glenfiddich.

“Most people drink it with something in it. You have to add something just to kind of tame it down.”

Millar’s message is good news for me. I have always been intimidated by Scotch and was a bit nervous to meet a master distiller. (He also brought along the distillery cooper, Ian McDonald, so I was outnumbered by Scotch experts named Ian.) But Millar’s charming Scottish brogue put me at ease. He also flattered me shamelessly when I admitted I’m not, ahem, a Scotch drinker.

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