Food for Thought - Charles MacLean (Whisky Writer)
Breakfast is a quart of strong coffee, drunk through the morning, which is when I do my best writing. Whisky tasting begins at midday – your nose is much better before lunch than after. But, hey, when the samples are as good as the ones in front of me today – a 1972 Old Pulteney, a 25 year old Clynelish and a 30 year old blend – tasting is essential. Lunch is with friends in town. Favourites are Celadon on Causewayside (the best Thai food), the Dogs on Hanover Street (first rate comfort grub) and Petit Paris [now L’escargot Blanc] on Queensferry Street (real French cooking). The slow hours of the afternoon are devoted to admin and research, and in the early evening I may chair a tasting panel to assess single cask whisky samples. Supper is cooked by me, Mrs MacLean or by our middle boy (aged 15, the best cook in the family) usually with a glass of wine. Then bed at 9.30pm to read to youngest child.
Charles MacLean has published ten books about Scotch whisky. His most recent, Whiskypedia, will be published by Birlinn on 2 June (www.birlinn.co.uk). As part of Homecoming, May 2009 has been declared ‘Whisky Month’.