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:
- Whisky legend Dr Jim Swan dies
- Bowmore Small Batch axed amid brand overhaul
- Rachel Barrie to leave Bowmore for BenRiach
- Can grain whisky ever be truly great?
- John Walker Private Collection 2017 unveiled
- Obituary: Dr Jim Swan (1941-2017)
- From the editors: Thinking outside the whisky box
- New whisky tasting notes: Batch 82
- New whisky tasting notes: Batch 83
- World Whisky Forum 2017
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.
Latest news 01 March 2016
The Islay distiller claims its publication of The Classic Laddie recipe next month is legal.
Latest news 19 February 2016
Islay distillery promises more open approach as thousands sign up to Compass Box campaign.