By the Whisky Couple

An article about whisky and football — that is soccer, dear American friends — has to start undisputedly with a Spanish club, since the Spanish competition is home to our favorite football player, Lionel Messi. FC Barcelona was founded in 1899 by Mr. Joan Gamper, together with a group of young foreigners working and living in the eponymous city. It will come as no surprise that today the club still consists of players from different countries and cultural backgrounds. It’s the trademark of the FC.

By the Whisky Couple

If looking for one single malt whisky as cult fodder for collectors, Ardbeg is a prime candidate. The distillery is more than 200 years old and known for releasing interesting and innovative expressions of the cratur. Collectors of this imaginative heavily peated single malt can be found anywhere in the world. One of the most colourful “Ardbeg characters” is American Tim Puett.

By the Whisky Couple

A couple of months ago at a whisky festival in Europe I was stopped dead in my tracks by a gentleman who complimented me on my work with a certainly kindly intentioned but rather strange remark: “You really write nice books Mr. Offringa, but what do you do for a living?”

I smiled while I wracked my brain for an appropriate answer. Should I tell him I’ve been a professional writer for more than 35 years? That I’d written a couple of novels and historical books on various topics before I dedicated my writing skills fully to whisky and in doing so was able to blend my passion with my profession? Or that to date I have published more than 20 books on my favorite topic and translated seminal works from my fellow writer friends Dave Broom, Michael Jackson and Charles MacLean? That I annually write between 80 and 100 articles or columns for publications across the globe and thereby commit to a deadline every three or four days throughout the year?

By The Whisky Couple

Merchandise has become a significant extra source of income for many whisky producers. It sometimes seems they all try to outdo each other with gadgets, utensils and articles of clothing — and their fans are pleased at the selection. Fancy cufflinks, hats, ashtrays, USB sticks, notebooks, tartan gear. Enough to decorate your whisky room and yourself.

By the Whisky Couple

For alphabetical malt whisky drinkers, the quest gets serious upon arrival at the letter “G.” The aperitif will be Glen Albyn and one can rest with Glen Turret as digestive. In between you will encounter famous valleys — the likes of Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas and Glenmorangie. These are not the ones I will focus on this time; they usually draw enough attention. No, we will wander the lesser glens of whisky country that gave their names to malts as well as blends.

By The Whisky Couple

As promised in the March issue of the Mercury, where we focused on glens, The Whisky Couple takes us hill walking this time, high atop the bens.

By the Whisky Couple

Often used but not worn out, antlers are a favorite among whisky label designers.

Who started this? Was it Glenfiddich? Or Dalmore? Both use a stag’s head as the company logo, albeit Dalmore uses this symbol somewhat more explicitly on its bottles. Based on the foundation date of both distilleries, The Dalmore (1839) should be credited with being first, since Glenfiddich started distilling in 1886. Notwithstanding that fact, I opt for the latter.

Mercury newspaper racks are located at the following locations:

The Meeting Street Inn

Clair's Service Station at 334 Folly Rd.

Harris Teeter on Houston-Northcutt Blvd.

The Square Onion in I'On

Mt. Pleasant Library on Mathis Ferry Rd.