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In the world of spirits, old is gold: Price is what fools pay

9 0 49687

“What’s a jalebi but sugar fried
And where the infant who never cried
Where the lover who’s never lied
Or the wind-blown willow that never sighed?”
From The Diary of Rosemary Marlowe by Bachchoo

My father, an Armyman, would pour himself a whisky each evening, reserving Sunday afternoons for beer with friends and fellow officers on the lawns of our cantonment bungalows. I never heard him discussing brands of whisky. I grew up thinking they were all called “Scotch”.

It was only on coming to England that I became aware of brands and preferences for them. The realisation that there was a beverage called a single malt came later and with it the awareness that each Indian pretentious, snobbish or pretend connoisseur would pronounce that they only touched such-and-such malt.

I recall parties where guests talked about buying expensive bottle of black, blue or whatever label of Johnnie Walker they exclusively drank.

“Ah, but have you ever tried the Johnnie Walker Vermillion Label?” I once asked in such company. “I think it’s only sold to British aristocrats.” I was sure at least one or two of them would search for the Vermillion that went beyond the Red, Black and Blue.

Of course, Indian whisky buffs nowadays know what they’re touting and some can probably catalogue the shelves of Edinburgh airport’s duty-free. But even they may not have heard of Macallan Valerio........

© The Asian Age