When people ask me what I like most about whisky, I often (there are many answers) say it is the stories.

At this point, I frequently try to look wistful and enigmatic. I trail away and refuse to elaborate.

When people talk about whisky and stories, what they often mean is the romantic stories of the men and women who made the spirit in secret stills hidden in the hills and glens of rural Scotland at a time when whisky was little more than a roughly distilled combination of local ingredients. Or they mean the stories of the generations of men and women who turned the business legit and into a multi-billion pound industry.

Sometimes they simply mean the stories of any man or woman which starts with “well I’d had a dram or two and…” or is best told with such in hand.

They don’t always mean fiction, and I think that’s a shame. Whisky and stories gang thegither as a renowned storyteller almost said. Some of the best nights (or mornings) of my life have been spent in dubious company, dram in hand, sharing stories. As I look back now, my mind’s eye suggests there’s always a leather armchair and an open fire, but realistically it was usually a battered sofa in a student flat, or the bare ground next to a fire, in front a tent on a remote loch-side somewhere.

If human history is just a series of stories, and whisky has the ability to inspire, prompt and garnish them, well, here are a few more.

Slàinte mhath.

About the Author

Alex Mennie is a freelance food and drink writer, former bartender and home cocktail enthusiast.

His interest in beer and wine began at the age of seven when he worked regular Sunday shifts in the family off-licence.  Some years later, he started writing about whisky and cocktail bars.

Now he’s writing stories.