No industry appetite for change, says John Glaser – but he still believes that change will come.
Now, while I watch YouTube relatively regularly, I can’t say I fully understand how the clips on the ‘now watch these’ menu which pops up at the end are selected. Maybe it’s your browsing history, or the site’s goblins are using some cunning algorithm to make a connection between what you’ve seen and something which initially seems completely unrelated – but maybe isn’t.
Who knows? Actually, who cares? What matters in this case is what happened when the video finished, because it offered a link to an interview with the late Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson of Coil – which I’d guess might be the first time that these two gentlemen have ever been linked. One co-founded Throbbing Gristle and was noted for his interest in the occult, psychedelia and transgressive behaviour; the other blends whisky.
I love Coil, deeply, so I watched it (though I didn’t tell the Editor, what with this being a fairly busy news day). What was integral to Coil, Sleazy said, was being true to the vision upon which their work was grounded, on its truths.
True to a vision: Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson of Coil
The band, despite what some believed, were never simply provocative for the sake of it. Neither were they self-created ‘mavericks’ – an approach which is little more than marketing taking the tropes of the underground and diluting them for the mainstream. Beware the b(r)and which shouts: ‘Look how wacky I am!’
It occurred to me that these insights can be applied to any endeavour – even whisky – as they concentrate on the importance of honesty and values.
Listen closely and you can hear integrity in the music, just as you can taste it – or the lack of it – in a whisky. Values are more than logos and bottle shapes and paying lip-service to barely understood ‘heritage’. We’ve all encountered the weary taste of flaccid mediocrity as another barely-matured single cask flops on the tongue. We’ve tasted the dusty, hollowed-out corpses of formerly great brands reanimated to hit a price point.
Equally, we’ve had our worlds made richer by the complexity of a compelling liquid – and that could be a standard blend or a bottling from the upper stratosphere. In other words, whisky connects with you in the same way as art or music: emotionally, viscerally. It only truly resonates, however, if it has integrity, is true to itself.
I went back to work with some Coil as a soundtrack – which is what you should do as well:
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- Top 10 best-selling Scotch whiskies
- Top 10 best-selling Scotch malt whiskies
- Why was Scotch whisky ‘better’ in the 1960s?
- Highland Park 50 Year Old unveiled
- Macallan Rare Cask eyes collectors market
- New whisky reviews: Batch 167
- 10 American single malt whiskeys to try
- Calling out whisky marketing bull
- New whisky reviews: Batch 166
Latest news 01 March 2016
The Islay distiller claims its publication of The Classic Laddie recipe next month is legal.
Latest news 22 February 2016
The company will meet the Scotch Whisky Association in March following last week’s campaign launch.
Latest news 26 September 2016
Detailed information on blend components will be available to consumers following new legal advice.
The whisky virgin 09 May 2016
Compass Box’s controversial bottling gets the Virgin treatment, with the aid of a sweary friend.