As in many avenues in life, there is always an alternative – here is mine.
Paul McLean is the world’s most renowned independent whisky expert (in his own mind). His Alternative Bible is the world’s newest whisky guide, with Paul having visited more distilleries in his own lunchtime than any other person who has ever lived including his dad (who is a whisky angel). Without fear or favour, after tasting many new whiskies, a thoroughly researched guide to all the whiskies he may have tasted. In terms of whisky, this is the alternative gospel. It has to be said, Paul buys all his own bottles, unless nice people at distilleries give him “drivers share” wee nips, he has no bias, no friends to please, no bulging bank account nor brown envelopes. My best (favourite) whisky of 2019 is a hard choice, high on the list is the fabulous Glendronach 18 year old. I do love a sherry finish and I have scored this 100/100. Why? Because each whisky is different, each person tasting has different tastes and likes/dislikes, I am not trying to be one person telling the world what is the best whisky to drink. I also am a fan of the Glenlivet 50 year old, happily consumed at the distillery library as a gift, thanks IL. A new dram to enter the best whiskies would be a cheap bottle – does it matter what cost? – Tamnavulin sherry finish, I bought, aye – bout, a 1 litre bottle at Tesco for £30! Cheap whisky, but not as we know it Jim. Strange as it maybe, some of my favourite drams seem to appear in my own top ten (or top hundred) consecutive years! Unlike certain other books/novels. I am not a Scotophobe, no, I like Irish, Japanese and other whiskies from around the world, but do think Scotland produces the best, but that’s just me.
No whiskies were hurt in writing this bible, none were thrown away, some were tasted and admittedly never tried again (not to mention names, but there is one from Texas, guests brought me, it was so bad I wouldnee even offer it to a Campbell! It was named after a creek in Texas, my mums name actually, so bad so it was, I now use it in summer months to get all those kamikaze flies of my windscreen). As mentioned, my dad is a whisky angel, my mum Rebecca is an angel, she didnee drink. I hear you ask “where can we buy this alternative bible?”answer; nowhere, I do not wish to make money out of telling the world what in my own mind, is the best dram in the world – even if everyone knows it isnee (I am under the illusion that people can make their own mind up). There are so many good whisky books out there, Ingvar, Charlie, David, Hans etc why would you waste good money on a book that is obviously biased as hell, even the devil doesnee buy that book! Use your money wisely, spend on the drams YOU like and the books that give good information. Aye, I have connections with the grand distillery upstairs, my dad, a pal Speyside, my Priest, and in my own mind, I am the best whisky drinker in the world to tell you what you should be drinking. Excuse me now please, I am away working on the best dram for 2020. PAUL MCLEAN. Ps; I buy my own shirts too!