Helen Brownless

SMWS DRAM-cierge

First whisky memory

Sneaking shots out of a forgotten Bushmills bottle at the back of a cupboard in my parents’ house as a teenager.

Favourite whisky-drinking music

It’s very clichéd but much like the whisky you choose, music selection comes down to your mood. My taste in music is a distinct mix of my dad’s and that of a teenage girl’s. I hold the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Britney Spears in equally high regard.

Best box sets

Finally getting to watch Mad Men for the first time definitely got me through the early lockdowns of 2020. Gilmore Girls is my ultimate comfort watch. I’m also obliged to say BoJack Horseman as I have the title character permanently inked on my skin – yes, my mother is very proud…

Fantasy whisky tasting companions Graham Norton and Miriam Margolyes. I appreciate nothing more than people who are straight to the point and there’s no better woman for it than Margolyes, and Norton would have the best stories from decades of celebrity interviews.

Most memorable dram Cask No. 29.248: Creaking ships lost in the fog. It was a second fill red wine barrique, 21-years-old. Distillery 29 is not usually one of my favourites but this whisky was exceptional, it tasted like smoky, salty, barbecued cherries. I still regret not grabbing a bottle when it was released.

Most used emoji 😬

Guilty pleasure Don’t really buy into the concept of this. If you enjoy something and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, what’s there to be guilty about?

Dream destination Morocco. This may or may not be influenced by watching Casablanca every single Christmas since I was eight years old.

Strangest food

Chicken hearts, I suppose, which are not at all strange and are delicious. An inter-generational answer I could steal would be that my mother had to drink a glass of Guinness with a raw egg in it as she was too “skinny” as a child. I’ve never seen her drink a pint to this day.

Favourite bar The Blue Note in my hometown Galway, specifically their smoking area. The UK just doesn’t do cosy smoking areas like Ireland.

If you were a flavour profile, what would you be, and why? Oily & Coastal – it describes both my complexion and the location I always need to be wherever I live.