2 May 2016

Whisky Insiders Interview - Colin Hampden-White

Whisky Quarterly Magazine 



How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
Around six years now, starting with my photography and writing for LUX magazine, the quarterly luxury magazine owned by the Editor in Chief of Condé Nast.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Two of my biggest highlights have been becoming the editor of Whisky Quarterly magazine and becoming a Keeper of the Quaich.
Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
The story goes that my parents had a very low cocktail table. One morning, after a party that ended late, they were awoken to their three-year-old son, giggling lightly having polished off the end of his father’s whisky. It was Grouse (with a lot of water, as my father liked it). Needless to say I can’t really remember it. The first dram I remember was a sip of Lagavulin from a gamekeeper’s hip flask on a freezing cold shoot in the borders of Scotland around 30 years ago.
What does whisky mean to you?
Memories of times past; creating happy memories now and in the future.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
I’m pretty happy right now! I travel a lot, but not too much, I enjoy my best-loved hobby as work alongside my favourite people in the world: the whisky community. On top of that, I get to spread the word to new whisky lovers around the world.
What was your last dram?
My last dram was a Craigellachie 31 Year Old.
Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I love a sweet Speyside with slightly spicy Thai red chicken curry. That and a Bloody Mary made with Ardbeg 10 Year Old, a great pick-me-up.
What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
I’m a social drinker. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy savouring a dram alone pondering the world and the spirit in my hand, but I prefer the company of others with whom to share the experience. It doesn’t matter if it’s 6am or 6pm, as long as I am with friends, old or new, I’m a happy man.
What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
There are lots of different whisky styles right now. There are so many countries with a growing curiosity for whisky, I think that where the interest originates might surprise rather than where the liquid comes from.
What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
Johnnie Walker Black Label. Singles malts are wonderful and each has its own place in time and mood, but as a dram for all times with complexity and enjoyment, this presses all the right buttons.

Many thanks to Colin Hampden-White. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!