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Well, that was silly... (-:

For lunch today I went to Mirabelle, Marco Pierre White's place in Mayfair, and very nice it was too, to say the least. After we'd finished talking about Internet security (the ostensible reason for being there) the conversation turned to other things, as it does.

Somewhere along the line - after my neighbours had spent ages talking about their toddlers and the rest of us had discussed food allergies, commuting and where to get the best scrumpy, among other things - one of the others mentioned that he'd once worked in a whisky bar but had never drunk the stuff.

As you may know, whisky is one of my favourite subjects, a little after beer perhaps, and slightly ahead of scrumpy. Perhaps I do get a bit too involved though, because half an hour later I found myself running an impromptu whisky tasting in the Mirabelle bar...

My aim was simple - to demonstrate to the non-whisky drinkers there just how different single malts can be, and why some of us add water. I picked three from the drinks list - a Macallan as the fruity one, Laphroig for the in-your-face peaty one, and a Glenkinchie as the softer Lowland.

I think it worked quite well - everyone could smell and taste the difference, although they found it harder to smell the effect of adding water. Really we should have had samples each, but I got one of each whisky for us to share. With six of us, and large measures at £8 to £10 each, I wasn't sure that adding £150 to my hosts' bar bill was entirely fair - especially as some of the six clearly weren't going to drain one large whisky each, never mind three.

Ah well, it was a bit of fun. And hopefully one or two of the others might risk a malt again some time.


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