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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has a new manager at our Members’ Room at 40 Bath Street in the centre of Glasgow! Johnny Love takes over from Calum Lawson, who has joined the Society’s Spirits Team. Johnny has worked in various hospitality roles in Glasgow and is excited to meet members at the Society’s home on the west side of Scotland’s Central Belt
PHOTOS: PETER SANDGROUND
First whisky memory?
My first whisky memory is also my first memory of perfect hospitality! On a family holiday to Spain when I was 10 years old, my wonderful Auntie Kathleen ordered a “whisky con hielo” – whisky with ice – along with a bottle of lemonade to add to this one, and perhaps the next couple too! She wasn’t happy when I thought she needed topping up and diluted her whisky with the entire mixer bottle.
Favourite whisky-drinking music?
I think whisky goes brilliantly with some live Scottish music. I don’t think it’s too much of a cliche to enjoy drinking a peaty single malt next to the roaring fire in an old pub, listening to a couple of fiddle players and tapping your foot...actually, that does sound a bit cliched.
Fantasy whisky-tasting companion?
I would love for my Dad to understand my love of whisky. I am lucky to have an extremely close family; we spend much time together, but he has always been teetotal, so we haven’t been able to bond over a “hauf an a hauf”. He is unbelievably supportive of my career and often visits where I work – so I’m sure you will see him and my Mum at SMWS Glasgow on the odd occasion.
Most memorable dram?
Octomore Masterclass 8.2 by Bruichladdich – this was the dram my wife and I used to “seal the deal” at the end of our wedding ceremony. We both love smoky Islay whiskies and visiting the Bruichladdich distillery especially. They are incredibly innovative, and their Octomore range boasts the highest PPM of any distillery! This particular dram, although heavily peated (!), still retains a smoothness of character – much like me!
Most used emoji?
A guilty pleasure?
Doing the music round at a pub quiz! It is my absolute speciality!
Vegas baby! It has long been the plan that I and my two best friends would mark our 40th birthdays with a trip to Las Vegas. So far, the first two have been celebrated in Glasgow, with only the most youthful of us – me – left to hit the milestone, we better get it organised!
Oysters. I’ve served them in a few places I have worked and even occasionally enjoyed them. But billed as an aphrodisiac and a delicacy, I just can’t get used to their texture and flavour.
Although Glasgow is blessed with several fantastic whisky bars, my heart has always belonged to The Laurieston Bar. You’ll find my best friend, Joe Clancy, behind the bar along with the owners, his father and uncle. It is an authentic family-run, traditional bar and Glasgow institution where everyone is welcomed with open arms.
If you were a flavour profile, what would you be, and why?
I passed this question swiftly onto my wife. Once she had stopped laughing at comparing me to the SMWS profile titles, she pegged me for “Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits”. I am a complete foodie with a background in restaurant management, and I love the finer things in life – even if my wallet can’t quite match up to it!