13 July 2011

Whisky Insiders Interview - Angela D'Orazio

Mackmyra Swedish Whisky

Master Blender


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
My first job in the industry was in 1992 on a stand at the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival, and from there on it went.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
When I had 12000 people queuing up for my whisky in 2007; the Preludium 06 was sold out in a couple of hours in Sweden.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
No I can’t, but I remember a somewhat smoky blended scotch I drank when I was a teenager, it was horrible. I still remember how close I was to throwing up because of the taste and smell.

Lagavulin 16yr was one of my early random buys before even knowing what peated whisky was, and it took me six months or so before I understood its true greatness. My earliest joyful whisky experience was with a Glenlivet 15yr when I lived in Italy. I thought it was incredibly smooth and nothing like the rocket fuel I tasted in my previous experience.

What does whisky mean to you?
It means Mackmyra and all my great colleagues, customers and friends in the whisky world. Along with some really joyful stuff I get to sample and savour everyday.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Sitting perhaps on a train going through all the continents, in search of the holy whisky in Manchuria, that’s for my biography. On my holidays of course, otherwise I am still making whisky with Mackmyra.

What was your last dram?
I had a wee one yesterday of Smoky baby 1:2 (second bottling 5 yr), a lovely smoky Mackmyra matured in a fresh sherry cask, warehoused in FjÀderholmarna Archipelago. A cask owned collectively by the Smoky Baby Parents Club of which I belong. Long answer on a short question.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
Yes, raw sushi is the shit. Salmon, avocado and butter fish nigiris to go with a dram of Brukswhisky or the 12 yo Bunnhabhain, served with lots of water and a bowl of salt coated edamame, fresh off the boil.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
On my terrace in my house in Italy, summertime, sitting watching all the lights over Lake Trasimeno.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
Worldwide whiskies. Alcohol free whisky. Whisky experiences. Mackmyra. One of the above is probably not going to be that big.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
I would have a 'huge' dram of 16cl, I’ll then divide that into eight small ones of 2cl each, choosing: Smoky Baby 1:2, Angelas Share Port Charlotte cask 9 yo, Mackmyra, Moment Drivved, Mackmyra Preludium:06, Ardbeg Lord of the Isles, Bruichladdich 1st ed 20 yr, Ardbeg Signatory 1967, Yoichi 119.3 SMWS.

Many thanks to Angela D'Orazio. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!