30 classic signs you are an unrepentant whisky geek

Do you agonise over which whisky to drink or bore your friends with your whisky chat? You may just be a whisky geek, here are the classic signs.

Published 15th Aug 2016
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

1. You feel a desperate urge to save any poor malt whisky that's about be drowned by coke, to the point of offering to buy a double of a cheap blend to replace it.

2. You politely correct people's pronunciation of Scottish whisky distilleries by repeating it to them in the correct manner before tutting when they inevitably ignore your correction.

3. You think the Islands should be their own region and it annoys you that they get lumped in with the Highlands.

4. You enthusiastically preach that people should drink whisky however they like, but you still wince whenever you see people put ice in whisky.

5. You know an obscene number of small towns and villages in Scotland just due to their close proximity to distilleries.

6. Similarly, any trip up north involves copious amounts of planning to fit in as many distillery trips as possible.

7. You get annoyed when you are served 25ml measures of whisky because you know you might as well just be wetting your tongue (everyone knows it should be at least 35ml for a dram).

8. You aren't put off by trying whisky from other countries because you know that there are some amazing whiskies being produced out there.

9. Lost distilleries invoke a pang of sadness normally associated with a lost love or that childhood friend you haven't spoken to in years.

1o. You think nothing of spending over £100 for a bottle of whisky and secretly you always want to buy two (one to look good in your collection and the other to drink).

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11. You have a very strong stance on non-age statement whiskies.

12. You prefer to drink cask strength whisky but you still haven't learned that that means you have to drink less or run the risk of ending up leg drunk in your local.

13. You know what PPM stands for.

14. You have more than one hip flask and use them quite often.

15. a) You have to hide your best bottles when you host a party, just in case someone 'accidentally' drinks them.

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15. b) You also employ 'decoy' bottles to distract your friends at said party.

16. You know the Latin names and places of origin of several types of oak tree.

17. You're still searching for that elusive sample of Peatreek.

18. You've dreamt of owning your own distillery.

19. You know the difference between various whisky glasses and will only accept a tumbler as a very last resort.

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20. You know that rarity, not age, dictates price.

21. Getting rid of the finished bottles of your favourite whiskies becomes a dilemma, meaning you have a space filled with empties that you'll 'deal with eventually'.

22. It's become your life mission to visit every Scottish distillery

23. You aren't fooled by fancy bottles or clever marketing.

24. You have at least one distillery you are secretly (or openly) angry at for replacing their core range with non-age statement expressions.

25. Guys like Dave Broom, Charlie MacLean, Ian Buxton and Richard Patterson are your rock stars now.

26. You don't own a single copy of the Whisky Bible.

27. You won't stop until you've converted family, friends and strangers on the street to the wonders of whisky.

28. Birthdays become expensive as everyone expects you to buy them a good bottle of whisky.

29. You have more Glencairns and whisky glasses than you know what to do with.

30.  You have at least one bottle of whisky you only drink on 'special occasions' and you are getting increasingly worried you are going to run out.

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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