13 October 2012

Whisky Insiders Interview - Mahesh Patel

Universal Whisky Experience



How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I have been around whisky for over twenty years.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
The launch of my own independent whisky brand ‘Sirius’ and being made a Keeper of the Quaich.
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
This is a hard one, but yes when in my late teens I remember two whiskies in particular, Glenfiddich 12 year old and The Famous Grouse.
What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky to me means more than just enjoyment of the spirit itself. Whisky to me is the nucleus that brings together people in a social enjoyment experience.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
I would like to see myself as one of the foremost person in the industry that brings in more and more people to this premium spirit category.
What was your last dram?
It just happens to be my birthday today, so I will be opening up something really special tonight to share with my family and friends. My last dram from yesterday evening was a Glenlivet 21 year old.
Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
There are many pairing I like; a good peaty Islay single malt like Ardbeg with langoustines, which is fantastic. A bottle of Johnnie Walker Gold label straight from the Freezer severed with dark chocolate.
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
For me this is hard to say, it is all mood driven. It could be anytime of the day and anywhere, if the mood is right.  Having said this I do enjoy a quiet dram in the evening in my own home bar.
What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
As the world is awakening to this Great Spirit, and people want to try newer products the Craft distilling movement is going to grow tremendously.

I am also a strong believer of single aged grain whiskies. These whiskies have been underplayed for years and you will see them coming out strong. I am already seeing this.
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
Again this is a hard one, but I have to say Highland Park 18 year old, this is my comfort dram.

Many thanks to Mahesh Patel. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!