Welcome to the first edition of the World Whisky Review, a new bi-monthly online magazine written by me and designed and hosted by whisky social networking site Connosr.
World Whisky Review is a magazine dedicated entirely to the people, whiskies and distilleries from countries outside the traditional whisky producing nations of Scotland, Ireland, the United States and Canada.
in world whisky great things are starting to happen
Across the world in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, Africa and South America great things are starting to happen with whisky and it's about time there was a proper platform to bring it altogether.
Many of the distilleries I hope to feature in the coming months are tiny, many of them aren't bottling yet, and some of them are merely serving a local demand for their whisky. But they all add up to a vibrant underbelly to the world of whisky and they have great stories to tell. A few, of course, are already making world class malts and picking up awards.
This magazine is a labour of love and stems from the extensive work I've done first as Editor of Whisky Magazine and then as a freelance whisky writer. I've visited many of these distilleries, spoken extensively to the whisky makers and shared their passion for whisky. In my capacity covering world whiskies for Whisky Advocate I believe I'm in a great position to cover their world.
Bitter experience tells me that if you start championing world whisky some people from the traditional regions take it you're criticising what they do. So let me make it very clear from the outset, this is not the case at all. Nobody disputes that the vast majority of the world's greatest whisky - 95 per cent plus - comes from the great whisky regions. But this is about digging out the golden nuggets that come from elsewhere. I think they have a lot to offer the whisky enthusiast and they enrich our world.
A quick comment about the term 'new world whisky'. I use it to describe any whisky from outside the traditional territories and the term should not be defined in the same was as wine. Yes I know, some of the so called 'new world' countries have been making whisky a long time. But Australia has a wine making tradition stretching back a century and yet we say it makes new world wine. So, too, with whisky. It’s just a term to separate emerging whisky nations from those that have traditionally been associated with whisky.
This first issue of World Whisky Review is just a starting point and there isn't as much here as I'd have liked from non English speaking countries but that'll change, and already I'm lining up profiles and interviews with distillers across the world. There will be tasting notes and competitions to win whisky.
One other thing: I've cheated a little. Although I'm excluding the big five, I've added an 'Elsewhere' section where the very knowledgeable Jason Pyle will be bringing us news from the American micro distilling industry and where the odd story from the independent sector in the traditional territories might creep in.
I hope you like it. Please let me know your thoughts and let your friends know it's here. Here's to a journey in to the deepest heart of world whisky.