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Picture of Michel Couvreur - Last of the Mohicans

Michel Couvreur - Last of the Mohicans

Published 08/06/2021

In the vicinity of Beaune, the Belgian Michel Couvreur begun making wine in Burgundy in the 1950’s. While trading Burgundy in Scotland, Michel met Ian Tennant of The Glenlivet, who was as enthusiastic about his wine as he was about his whisky. This led to a 25 year study of the magic of this ancient way of making uisce beatha. So traditional was his approach that he earned himself the name ‘the last of the Mohicans’.

Michel Couvreur - Last of the Mohicans
Picture of Dr. Jim Swan - The whisky magician

Dr. Jim Swan - The whisky magician

Published 08/05/2021

A personality little known to the general public, but a highly recognized personality in the whisky industry, was Dr. James Sneddon (Jim) Swan. The trained chemist was a long-time expert and advisor to the whisky industry and helped shape many of the whiskies that we can enjoy today. Swan died on February 17th, 2017 at the age of 75 and left us a legacy of excellent whiskies from all over the world.

Dr. Jim Swan - The whisky magician
Picture of Shinjirō Torii (鳥井 信治郎) - Japanese whisky pioneer

Shinjirō Torii (鳥井 信治郎) - Japanese whisky pioneer

Published 04/04/2021

The history of Japanese whisky production began officially in 1923 in Yamazaki through Shinjiro Torii. Today his company Beam Suntory is one of the big five globally. Born in 1879, he worked for a pharmaceutical wholesaler that was also active in the wine and spirits sector. In 1899 Shinjirō Torii founded the company Torii Shoten with a shop in Osaka and initially sold imported wine there within his country. In 1907 he expanded his range to include his self-made Akadama port, which was also sold successfully in Nippon.

Shinjirō Torii (鳥井 信治郎) - Japanese whisky pioneer
Picture of Masataka Taketsuru (竹鶴 政孝) - Japanese whisky pioneer

Masataka Taketsuru (竹鶴 政孝) - Japanese whisky pioneer

Published 17/03/2021

It’s not possible to tell the story of Japanese whisky without two names, Shinjirō Torii the entrepreneur determined to establish a domestic whisky industry, and Masataka Taketsuru who dreamed of making authentic whisky of the Scottish style. At the beginning of the 20th century the two worked together to found the first of the largest and most famous distilleries in Japan today, Suntory. Ultimately this fraught partnership ended and Masataka Taketsuru would go on to found Nikka supported by his Scottish wife Rita.

Masataka Taketsuru (竹鶴 政孝) - Japanese whisky pioneer
Picture of Alfred Barnard - The First Whisky Pilgrim

Alfred Barnard - The First Whisky Pilgrim

Published 17/01/2021

Alfred Barnard was a recognized brewing and distillery historian and some might argue the very first whisky pilgrim. As Secretary of Harper’s Weekly Gazette, he visited every active whiskey distillery in Great Britain and Ireland from 1885 to 1887. In total, he visited an incredible 162 distilleries, 129 in Scotland, 29 in Ireland and 4 in England. The result was a monumental book of 500 pages, all of which you can read here on whiskipedia.

Alfred Barnard - The First Whisky Pilgrim