A long time ago in a bar far, far away… no, he’s not my father!

Andrew ‘Obi Wan’ Dawson

By Andrew Dowson /@whisky__daddy

Hello there.

In a month which began with us saying ‘May the Fourth be with you’ and ‘Revenge of the Fifth’, it seems only appropriate to discuss the unnatural level of occasions when I find myself either being mistaken for the well-known and well-travelled owner of The Pot Still, or somehow worse yet, his son.

It’s one of cinema’s greatest reveals, and I can’t help but draw comparisons to Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker’s iconic scene and the reaction of Frank and I to being identified as parent and child.

Whilst this has now become a running joke amongst the bar staff and a lot of the regulars at the Pot, the reaction from the first instance, many Endors ago, of the possibility of a parental connection merits a recounting.

On what was very much a standard shift, Frank, I and a couple of others were working away as normal when a very distinctive Glaswegian drawl cut through the white noise with ‘Here, big man (referencing Frank of course), is that your boy?’

For anyone who has met or knows Frank there is a rarity to him being left speechless. There was a grumbling of a curse of some type towards the offender, his Sports Direct-sized Star Wars mug of tea was snatched from the back bar and was promptly taken into the kitchen where he had to then deal with the realization that he was, in fact, getting old.

It is worth mentioning, and I believe why our ageing Mr Murphy took offence, is not so much in the suggestion of a parental connection, but more so that there is not enough of an age gap between us for it to even be feasible.

Realistically the only things we have in common are our work attire, a disdain for razors and a penchant for oversized mugs. Even our taste in whisky is wildly different. I am much more of a peat freak and enjoy more along the lines of Laphroaig, Kilchoman, Ledaig and Torabhaig. Not that I am not into unpeated whiskies either and things like Clynelish, Auchroisk, Craigellachie, Dailuaine and Mortlach absolutely excite me as well.

Again, I find this a hugely satisfying part of working in whisky as even though on the surface people see similarities with people, the palates and preferences often vary massively person-to-person.

Being in a position where I can talk to them and find out those idiosyncrasies and things that they enjoy the most before recommending a whisky to suit them best is absolutely one of my favourite parts of the role. Heavier unpeated malts like the ones I listed above can have a meaty, savoury component that can be quite divisive, as can peated malts in general, so finding that ‘balance’ of what people like but that they maybe haven’t explored or that they haven’t realised that they like, is such a satisfying feeling.

One of my favourite ways of explaining drams like Dailuaine is that my best food pairing with the Dailuaine 16 F&F is a Greggs’ steak bake!

Now if these aren’t the whiskies you’re looking for, then with the warmer days coming in, a lot of Speyside, Lowland and some Highland whiskies are coming into their own.

Things such as Glenfiddich’s Orchard Experiment is a fantastic dram on its own or as a highball with loads of ice and soda or lemonade. Glen Keith’s supermarket-found Distillery Edition is around £25 a bottle and for me has a fantastic palate of orchard fruits, vanilla, light caramel and custard. Honestly, it is one of my best value for money drams and again is superb on its own or with a mixer like soda, tonic or lemonade.

For something a little more independent, Lochlea’s Sowing Edition (which is their Spring/Summer seasonal release) has just launched its Third Crop, the final iteration of this release. Matured entirely in first-fill bourbon barrels, for me it is fresh, grassy, slightly sweet and almost reminds me a bit of white wine, so it suits a warm day very well.

One similarity that I probably should have mentioned with myself and Frank, is that we both have a huge passion and desire to learn more when it comes to whisky and we both enjoy helping people find whisky that they’ll hopefully love and enjoy, so make like the Millenium Falcon doing the Kessel Run and find a whisky that a-wookie-n your passion for it!

May the Fourth be with you and Slainte Mhath!