Dean Marinello

SMWS The Vaults

First whisky memory

Actually a ‘whiskey’ memory, from Kentucky back in my university days in the States. I travelled with a few friends down from New York for the weekend and received a balmy belter of a day at Woodford Reserve. The gorgeous bourbon oak was a precursor to a later passion for Scotch and all other fine spirit.

Favourite whisky-drinking music

Just like with whisky/whiskey, it depends on the sensory time and place. Old-time/early blues or classical to Scottish/Irish folk, Radiohead, Clipping, new local singers and storytellers like Callum Easter and Jake Ewing. Anything my brother recommends. He’s got as good an ear as any.

Best box set

Don’t have a ‘best’, but still keep and frequent a lot of them: Kubrick: Ltd Edition; Herzog; The name a few and to continue saying more than one-word answers!

Fantasy whisky tasting companions My grandfather, on my mum’s side, John Grant, who passed before I was born; Kubrick; Mary Shelley; Borges; Billy Connolly.

Most memorable dram Either a 17-yr-old Lagavulin outside overlooking the bay after a distillery tasting and selection by ‘Pinky’, or a SMWS 31-year-old Dallas Dhu. Both as good a sensory moment as any due to the quality of the spirit and ‘moment’ in time.

Most used emoji 🥃

Guilty pleasure Too much good cheese.

Dream destination Somewhere in South America, Africa, India, Eastern Asia – so many parts of the world I’ve yet to experience.

Strangest food

Been lucky to have tried various worldly foods on travels. Deep fried Mars Bar must be considered the ‘strangest’ – even as a Scot.

Favourite bar ‘Pedramare’ in Sardinia. Gorgeous old rustic bar with fab selection of Mirto, local wines & spirits. Bellu vista!

If you were a flavour profile, what would you be, and why?

‘Spicy & Dry’ for February! But all of them in general – one whisky has as much varied ‘profile’ going on as any product. Flavour and aromas change, develop, heighten the senses – if you are present, take your time and don’t take it for granted. Every moment brings you the fortune of having or even recalling a real good time, as we do at the Society. Slàinte 🥃