Whisky Boy Jim and The Covid Lockdown

We are all now into a year with deadly covid-19 and this is all about what I have missed and what has changed.

The most missed part of these very trying times is meeting family and friends for a meal, drink or just a visit to say hello. It has been such a long time since I was able to cuddle my son and daughter and three fabulous grandchildren.

It has also been a year with no distillery visits, festivals, tastings, press trips and especially trips to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) The Vaults to do members tastings and enjoy the company of the staff, Gregor, Dean and Jo to mention just a few.

Together with many members the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 were sad times at The Vaults, no Christmas celebrations and no New Year Hogmanay night. 

In 2019 and early 2020 I was charged with organising and taking SMWS Ambassadors and VIP’s on a trip for a couple of days up to visit Speyside and Highland distilleries. These were great trips and the hospitality given to us was nothing short of outstanding. The distilleries in particular were Aberlour, Glen Moray, Tullibardine, Glen Grant, Glenlivet, Macallan, Glenfarclas and the Speyside Cooperage.

The Whisky Boys tasting cabin has been barren for the past 12 months and it has only been Jacqueline and I that have popped out to have a wee dram on occasion. Many of our friends and family cannot wait for the time when life gets better and we can all enjoy grand nights in the cabin.

Fortunately I am still able to make Zoom calls to Nicola, Scott, Loren and Alex to do virtual tastings, usually once a week,  this is what we call “The Zoom Pub” is now open.

Also sadly missed is chatting about all things Whisky with other Society Ambassadors and many master distillers and distillery staff.

The lockdowns were not without an end of a rainbow day. During the relaxing of the rules in September last year I was able to organise and take my family to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults for a lunch and a Whisky and gin tasting to celebrate my 70th birthday. I have to heap praise on all the staff, bar and kitchen included. We had an outstanding afternoon with food and drink to match. I could not think of any other venue to hold my birthday celebrations. Mentioned in the despatches are Gregor and Dean who went above and beyond the call of duty.

I will raise a glass to the end of this lockdown and wish all family, friends, Society staff and members to keep safe and well, follow the rules and we will get through.

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