It’s February, which means it’s the month of love, romance and everything related to Cupid and his arrow. With Valentine’s Day falling on the 14th of the month, it’s the time to show your loved ones how much they mean to you, and if you’re single not to worry because coincidentally, National Singles Awareness Day is celebrated the day after! To toast the occasion, Whisky Shop Advisor, Sunil, has written up his own love story – the love story of whisky.
Whisky is, undoubtedly, Scotland’s national drink. Here at The Scotch Whisky Experience we aim to make the world fall in love with Scotch whisky by sharing its beauty. Thankfully, the world loves this, in fact the rest of the world loves whisky so much that every time you click your finger another 41 bottles are shipped worldwide!
Now, slow down on that clicking please. As you’re probably well aware the liquid has to rest for a minimum of three years inside the darkness of an oak barrel. Patience is a virtue in this industry, no rushing allowed. From barley to bottle, every drop oozes love, yearns for attention and smiles with beauty as it flows. Centuries have passed but this amber token of love continues to show the world the effects of a little passion.
Saying that, with the world already in a love-affair with whisky, how come the industry barely has any association with the world of romance? Well we think some of these stories might just pave the way to changing that.. let’s start with a romantic story.
Fate and love at Glenmorangie
In 1916, at the age of 21, Gordon Lennox Smart, decided to become a RAF volunteer whilst working at the Glenmorangie distillery where his father was distillery manager. Smart was stationed at Waddingham in Lincolnshire when tragedy struck, he was involved in a plane crash, which led to him being taken to a hospital in Glasgow with several broken bones.
During his time in hospital he was cared for by nurse, Margaret Wooley, who nursed him back to health. During his recovery it transpired that Margaret’s parent’s owned a hotel not more than a mile from the Glenmorangie distillery! They fell madly in love and around 6 years after the crash and about 2 years after his appointment as the new distillery manager, the couple tied the knot.
This horrific accident turned to a beautiful love story – Gordon, his wife and their three children lived at the Glenmorangie distillery until his retirement in 1970.
Awww… now time for a more alternative love story.
The Tale of a Bromance
Thomas ‘Tommy’ Dewar, was a baron known for his wit and charisma. A born entrepreneur, his success would have made him marriage material – had it not been for his issues with commitment.
Thomas Lipton, also a baron, lived a similar life. Running a successful global empire, a charming man, yet he was one of the ‘world’s most celebrated trio of bachelors’ at the time.
Two men whose close ‘bromance’ became legendary, known as the ‘Scotch Toms,’ the pair spent their days lunching, yachting and playing pranks on one another. Their friendship was built on a strong sense of humour, shared hobbies and a mutual respect for one another.
Their pranks went so far that one day Dewar walked into one of Lipton’s tea shops pretending to be an inspector and subsequently gave each of his members of staff a £1 pay rise. Lipton returned to find himself the fool of the joke, but thankfully honoured the pay rise.
The ‘bromance’ continued until their deaths.
Let’s move on and talk about some famous faces, who were also lovers of the water of life..
Winston Churchill – British Prime Minister, Army Officer and Writer
Churchill famously said:
“The water was not fit to drink, to make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learned to like it.”
It was believed that whisky was an important part of his daily routine. Everyday he would enjoy a glass of Johnnie Walker with a dash of water.
Why not live a little like Churchill and treat yourself to some Johnnie Walker this Valentine’s Day! They go great with a range of mixers, why not try ginger beer or sparkling elderflower! Pop in store or buy online today!
Samuel Langhorne Clemens – American writer and humourist better know by his pen name, Mark Twain.
Twain was introduced by a surgeon to a new drink which he called “cock-tail”, a combination of Scotch whisky and lemon juice. His love affair with whisky continued and in later life he started drinking Scotch straight, occasionally with a little hot water.
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whisky is barely enough”
Robert (Rabbie) Burns – National Poet of Scotland
Robert was introduced to whisky at the age of 22, when he was an apprentice in the flax-dressing trade in Ayrshire.
Burns has written numerous poems which take Scotch whisky as their central theme. Although drinking and socailising were some of his favourite passions, Burns was a very canny (moderate in Scottish) drinker, this was possibly due to his unfortunately, poor health.
So there we go. Scotch whisky does have a barrel load of stories that might inspire you, help you fall in love with our national drink or simply entertain you.
So this Valentine’s Day (or National Singles Awareness Day – whichever you’re celebrating) – why not make it a dram-tastic one!
What do you think of these stories and associations? Do you have any whisky related love stories to share? Let us know in the comments below!