16 August 2011
Whisky Insiders Interview - Ingvar Ronde
Editor of Malt Whisky Yearbook
How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I have been editing The Malt Whisky Yearbook since 2005.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
It’s hard to single out a certain occasion. I think the fact that the Yearbook has become so established, not only amongst whisky aficionados but also with people working in the industry, is one big highlight. With all the whisky books published each year, there were no guarantees that yet another book would sell.
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
My first dram would probably have been a Johnnie Walker Red when I was around 18 years. The first single malt was a Dufftown which I bought on the Flying Scotsman from London to Inverness in 1980. I was travelling with a friend to go up and see some of the distilleries in Speyside. We drove along the Whisky Trail and visited Strathisla, Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas and Glenlivet. At that time there weren´t that many distilleries with visitor centres.
What does whisky mean to you?
To me it means enjoyment, relaxation and good company. In a broader sense, Scotch whisky in particular also means a fascinating history, great people and amazing views.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
I must say that I´m quite happy the way things are at the moment but I would probably like to extend the Yearbook with some internet applications as well. I can also picture myself sitting on Jura like good old Orwell, and write my Yearbooks there. Doubt it if my family would come along though.
What was your last dram?
My latest dram was Kilchoman 100% Islay which I tasted for the upcoming ‘1001 Whiskies To Try Before You Die’.
Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I really haven´t discovered the pleasures of combining whisky and food yet, in contrast to a lot of other people but I can certainly enjoy a nice sherried single malt with some good chocolate.
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Ideally it would be at the distillery where it was produced. If I’ve been walking the dog for a good two hours in the middle of the winter, it´s nice to sit down when you get home, the dog falling asleep at your feet, and pour a good measure of spicy Talisker or Caol Ila. Or in the garden on a sunny summer afternoon, you sit down in the shade with a great book and a dram.
What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
I think blended whiskies will come back. Now, I know that sounds ridiculous with 93% of all Scotch that is sold being blends but I think a lot of the hardcore single malt fans are starting to discover the brilliant blended whiskies out there and many producers have broadened their range to include exciting, limited bottlings. I also anticipate to seeing more ‘world whiskies’ becoming available outside their domestic markets; I´m thinking from USA, Taiwan, Australia, Sweden etc.
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
With so many fantastic whiskies out there I don´t think I would be lost if there was a particular one I couldn´t get hold of ever again. That having been said, I do have some favourites like for example Glenmorangie Nectar d´Or, Highland Park 15 yr, Aberlour a´bunadh and Blue Hanger from Berry Bros.
Many thanks to Ingvar Ronde. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!