In Summary
  • I can't tell you where to get the absolute best whiskies in Nairobi that haven't been corrupted.
  • I can tell you about my favourite whisky though, which happens to be a Glenfiddich.
  • I've never been a great fan of the 12, or the 18, but the 15 for me hits just the right spot.
  • Do you have feedback on this article? E-mail: lifeandstyle@ke.nationmedia.com

I'm an amateur whisky drinker. I like a good single malt, and I like a good blend.

But I can't tell you where to get the absolute best whiskies in Nairobi that haven't been corrupted by people trying to make money—which I hear is an actual problem nowadays, who knew?

I can't tell you about the citrus flavours that I smell from a glass before I drink it, or the origins of certain brands and whether or not you actually get a square foot of land in Scotland when you buy a bottle.

I can tell you about my favourite whisky though, which happens to be a Glenfiddich. I've never been a great fan of the 12, or the 18, but the 15 for me hits just the right spot. Goes down easy, like a nice merlot, sans the hangover that comes with getting to the end of the bottle.

And it just so happens that about a week or so ago, the Glenfiddich Global Brand Ambassador, Struan Grant Ralph, was in town to launch the 21. I don't recall ever having tasted the 21, but my questions to him were directed more towards why many women don't necessarily drink whisky, and why they're choosing Kenya to launch this particular product. “Kenya has more single malt whisky drinkers than ever, and from a distilling point of view, the 12, 15 and 18 have done so well here.”

Apparently whisky enthusiasts in Kenya are drinking more, older, better whiskies, so this move makes sense. “In terms of flavour, it's a Caribbean rum cask finish, looking to elevate the sweetness and complexity, mostly – the 15 you like is a complex three-cask marriage, and this one is a finish.” He was talking about how the Kenyan palate likes a sweeter taste typically, which I can attest to. Like I said, no one likes being choked by their alcohol, and you have no obligation to finish drinks that taste bad.

WHAT IT TAKES

That being said, Struan's job seems pretty great. I'm ready to be paid to fly around the world to drink whisky and get other people to drink it with me. So how does that happen, exactly? “There's a whisky school in Scotland, actually, and you can do a degree in Brewing and Distilling. I didn't go there, but I do have a diploma. You don't have to start as an expert, because you can learn. In terms of ambassadorship, we're taking people who are passionate about whisky. You can't teach passion.” Good news for the rest of us without those diplomas.

Page 1 of 2