02 November, 2007

Richard Parker

Parker's Whisky, Banf


If you were a whisky, what would you be?

As everyone knows in the trade, Laphroaig is peaty and smoky. Its tagline is Love It or Hate It, just like Marmite. That's me all over, so I would be a bottle of Laphroaig.

When you're not working, how do you seek your thrills?

My fiancée and I are building a

house on the Scottish coast, overlooking the North Sea, so if it's not drammin', it's keeping an eye on the builder.

What's more important, what you know or who you know?

Definitely who you know, but it is a two-way street. If you show the respect, it will come back to you. Life is about building relationships with people. And in this business you might get a free dram as well.

If your profits doubled tomorrow, how would you spend the money?

There is nothing better than putting your name on a bottle of whisky. It tells the customer you believe th at whisky

is good enough to put your name on. We recently bottled a Port Ellen 1982 at cask strength and each bottle is numbered and hand-signed by me. So more bottles is what I would spend the money on. Oh, and I would take my fiancée on holiday.

Should whisky producers be focusing more attention on fans at home?

Yes. There are a few major distillers who are now only interested in the foreign markets and have forgotten about us in the UK market.

We have stopped stocking certain brands and we know of other whisky shops that are doing the same because of this.

Can you give us an unusual whisky and food matching tip?

Not a food match, but try putting Johnnie Walker Black Label in a freezer for three days along with a glass. Bring it out and serve immediately. The whisky will

taste amazing .

If you could be reincarnated, would you still work in the drinks industry?

As long as I was happy, I wouldn't mind what industry I was in.

I was a rat catcher before opening this shop a few years ago. Whisky was my hobby for many years, now it's my profession . Isn't that great?

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know