Grain, water, yeast, and oak. The four ingredients that give us The Water of Life, aka whisky (or if you prefer, whiskey). The print in the above photo illustrates the process by which whisky is made. The idea behind this print comes from Mark Byrne, a former spirits editor at GQ Magazine and a current editorial consultant at Stranger & Stranger (they design beautiful packaging for Compass Box, Aberfeldy, and many others). In addition to the print, Mark teamed up with Mike Arnot of Owen & Fred to produce the following video which illustrates the whisky making process in 30 seconds…
When we were approached by Mike of Owen & Fred to help promote this print, he asked if we’d be interesting in interviewing Mark for a future blog post. We, of course, said yes. He also asked if we’d be interesting in running a little contest with the prize being a copy of the above print. We said yes to that too, but before we tell you about the contest, here’s our quick Q&A with Mark Byrne that happened via email…
Q1: You obviously love whisky. Was it love at first sip or was it an acquired taste?
When I was 24, my friend David asked me to help him with a new distillery he was launching; at that point, I knew I *liked* whiskey but didn’t know an awful lot about it. After working in the distillery a while, I started to learn a bit more about what makes whiskey taste so good, and the love followed shortly after.
Q2: You’re sitting at a kick-ass bar in a major city with limited funds ($20) and enough time for just one drink. How do you decide what to drink, i.e. what’s your pecking order?
It depends on what makes the bar kick-ass. If I can tell that cocktails are their thing, I’ll usually order some kind of shaken whiskey drink–I like citrus and bubbles in cocktails, so that’s where I go first. If it looks like the bartender strangled the last guy who called him a mixologist, I get whiskey on the rocks–either Rittenhouse rye, local Bourbon, or a peaty Scotch. If I’m feeling smug, I ask for a Tom Collins, but with Laphroaig instead of gin. If none of those are on the table: Budweiser.
Q3: What’s your most obscure tasting note?
I hate tasting notes. Don’t tell me what I’m tasting!
Q4: If you could only have five whiskies in your home bar, what would they be?
Great Kings Street; High West Campfire; St. George Single Malt; Willet Rye; and Kings County bourbon.
Q5: Someone tells you that they only drink Pappy Van Winkle or Johnnie Walker Blue or something along those lines. We say, “Douche!”. What would you say?
“So I guess you’re paying then?”
You know about the print. You’ve seen the video. You’ve even read our quick Q&A. Now it’s time for the fun part…
If you’d like to win a copy of the “Whiskey: Wood, Water, Grain” print, all you have to do is follow @boozedancing and @owenandfred on Instagram, and tag a friend that deserves a drink (US residents only). As they say over at Nike, “Just Do It!”. Good luck!
Categories: Brew and Booze News