Michael Jackson's Malt Whisky Companion (Dorling Kindersly £9.95) ‘The main burden for the new book was tasting.‘ sighed Michael Jackson. My heart bleeds for him. ‘There are certain technical difficulties. mainly connected with staying sober. I re-tasted everything
for the new book.‘
Jackson’s guide covers over 250 different single malts from 120 distilleries providing well-informed comments on the geographical area and distillery. evocative descriptions ofcolour. nose, body. palate and finish and a mark out of 100 for each
‘The special thing about this book is that it reviews all the available ages. I tasted all of the ages ofone malt at the same time. because I wanted to see how the whisky developed. In some instances that would be up to six or seven. Occasionally I perhaps became slightly euphoric. If that means that my writing shows a certain amount of enthusiasm I don‘t feel any need to
‘A lot is done on the nose. Some whisky blenders in Scotland don't drink the stuff at all. I mean don‘t even have it in their mouths. I really need to taste it and probably drink a little bit. Indeed. every whisky I wrote about I can say a drank a little
Mulling over the intriguing notion of a taste memory Jackson remarks. ‘Ifl happen to just socially have a single malt I make a note ofthe taste. It‘s quite suprising how a note I did five years ago will be very similar to one I did five weeks ago. I'm not so sure that l have an especially sensitive palate. I think that it‘s just
that it‘s kept constantly in use. If
you‘re a professional footballer you
keep your skills and instincts honed
because you‘re playing all the time.‘ Confirming my suspicions. Jackson
informs me that his bookshelves
have in fact been usurped by whisky
I bottles. "The research was done
! where I‘m seated now. at my word
! processor.‘ he remarks. ‘I think it‘s a
wonderfully complex drink. More complex. more varied than any other
spirit.‘ (Jo Roe)
Figures in brackets are marks out at
Bladnoch (Lowlands) Light but very
Lagavulin (Islay) (89—95) Complex. assertive and dry with a sustained power (89—95).
Macallan10—25 yrs (Speyside) ‘The Rolls-Royce ofsingle malts'. insistingon sherry ageing in dry ()loroso casks (87—95 ). Cragganmore (Speyside) One ofthe cheapest. less well known. Austere and haughty style (90).
This year very few pubs will have secured a late licence for llogmanay. which falls on the Sabbath and. as yet. licensing law s don‘t allow pubs to open on 1 Jan. Below are some suggested pubs (and hotels) which stay open over the festive period. to slink off to when it all gets too much.
I Del Monica's 68 Virginia Street. 552 4803. (ilasgow‘s new Fifties-style bar is staying open on Christmas Day. 7pm- lam. Boxing Day noon lam. llogmanay until lllpm but will be
80'l‘he List 22 December 1989— l 1 January 1990
closed on New Year‘s Day. ()therwise normal opening hours will be maintained. .‘vlon- Sat
4+ lamSun l‘—lam.
I John Street Jam 18John
Street.552 3801. Trendy. dead busy with an abundance of hair gel and
double-breasted suits Closed Christmas Day. open Boxing Day
7--1 1pm. closed New
Year's Day and one ofthe '- few places open till late
(2pm) on llogmanay. I The Rock Garden Queen Street. 221 2201).
lurks within the dark interior. ('losed
Christmas and New
Year‘s Day. open (mm-midnight 26 Dec and open 6—] lpm and from midnight- 2am for those
with invites. (which will be given to regulars).
I 0'Henry's445 (ireat Western Road. 33‘) 1275. Closed Christmas Day and New Year‘s Day. Open 0—] lpm Boxing day and llam-l lpm all other days.
I Horseshoe Barand Restaurant 17 Drury Street. 221 3051
Varied clientele. Cheap food. Closed only on New Year's Day. open Christmas Day 11am—7pm. otherwise open normal hours which are l lam~midnight Mon~Sat and l lam--l lpm Sun.
I Babbity Bowster Blackfriars Street. 552 5055.
Busy and popular with (ilasgow's literati
amongst a mixed crowd. Closed Christmas and New Year's Day. otherwise open Ram—midnight Mon—Sat and until llpm Suns (including l logmanay).
I Bentleys N) l iUlIlL' Street. 2299516.
()pen every day. bar l Jan. including Christmas Day from 7—] lpm. Mon—Sat Ill—lam; Sun llam—l lpm.
I Bruntslield Links Hotel 3 Alvanley Terrace. 229 3046.
()pen right through the festive period. even New Year‘s Day. the hotel keeps to its regular hours
which are nice and simple.
I Fiddlers Annsu'll (irassmarket. 22‘) 2bb5. Famed for its beer. this traditional pub with a pool table in the back bar is onlyclosed on New Year‘s Day. ()pen from 11am—3pm on Christmas Day. otherwise the pub
which include Sat llam—lpm; Sun
IThe Greenmantle 133 Nicolson Street. 667 374‘). Functional pub which serves its own ale. The pub Closes only for Christmas Day and New Year's Day otherwise open until lam on Thursdays and Fridays and llpm on Sundays.
I Oblomov ll 13 North Bank Street. The Mound.
’ 220mm. ()neoflidinburgh‘s
trendy bars which varies from being cosy and stylish to cramped. loud
and hot. Closed only for
Christmasand New Year's Day. the Dutch-inﬂuenced pub will otherwise be open from ll),3()am— lam Mon—Sat and until llpm on Sun.
I Preservation Halls) Victoria Street. 226 3816. Large interior with an island bar. and home to many a raucous gig. Shut Christmas and New Year‘s Day. otherwise ll.3(Jam—]am Fri. Sat; 11.3(lam—midnight Mon—Wed;
l 1.3llam-12.3()am Thurs; 7—1 lpm Sun. Trying to get a late licence for llogmanay.