At the Galway Comedy Festival, Whisky Comedian Alan Anderson tries to have an intelligent conversation with multi award winning American comedian Reginald D Hunter. Trouble is it’s late at night, it’s Halloween weekend and most important… it’s Galway!

Reg enjoys an Arran 10 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Tommy Tiernan enjoys Auchentoshan & Wild Geese

Late at night at the Galway Comedy Festival in Ireland, immediately after he has performed an improvised routine at Set List, in the alleyway behind the Roisin Dubh pub, Whisky Comedian Alan Anderson chats comedy and whiskey with Ireland’s top comedian, the multi award winning Tommy Tiernan. Tommy tastes and describes Auchentoshan 12 year old and Cooley Distillery’s award winning Wild Geese Irish Grain whiskey.

World Whisky A-Z

Over the next few weeks, in alphabetical order, I’m going to type into google the word Whisky followed by a country and let’s see what interesting things the internet throws at us.

First up is Afganistan. Not a country renowned for its alcohol production or consumption, so we will probably start off with something mature, tasteful and responsible

Nope, think again.

2. Albania

You’d imaging that the least modernised of all the European countries would be a country filled with beard twitching, folk music loving, donkey driving, spirit drinkers. It probably is, however it also has rave culture. Ministry of Sound recently held a festival in Tirana with Armand Van Burren.  One of the few places you could purchase tickets for the gig was Tirana’s The Whisky Bar .

3. Algeria

No idea what this is all about, but here is Black Moon Algeria perfroming Whisky Wah Sekeriny

4. Andorra

It’s a small mountainous country sandwichwiched between France and Spain. All goods are duty free so you can get your whisky dirt cheap. Insteadof showing us snow capped peaks youtube gives us 4×4’s struggling up dirt tracks. Hmmm

5. Angola

Our first country that actually produces whisky is Africa’s fomer Portuguese colony of Angola. Here’s a picture of the distillery

Sbell Fabrica de Whisky - Lobito Angola

But that’s not the interesting bit for Angola. More riveting is this tale of former British special forces and Idi Amin and Johnnie Walker Red Label.

6. Antigua & Baruda

John Jameson the Scottish founder of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey came from a sea faring family who battled against pirates (whether they were from the Caribbean or not). I’m not sure of the connection between Jameson & Antigua & Baruda but theres a cracking little video history of Jameson’s that comes up first page on the google search.

Well done European Union. Down with minimum pricing!

Well done European Union. Down with minimum pricing!

Europe objects to Holyrood’s minimum pricing of alcohol

Countries in the European Union object to the Scottish government’s minimum pricing for alcohol policy

Questions have been raised over whether Scottish government plans to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol are compatible with European law.

The measure was passed by MSPs earlier this year but led to a formal complaint by the Scotch Whisky Association.

Five EU countries have now raised concerns that the proposal may infringe free trade rules.

The Scottish government said it remained confident the reform was compatible with EU law.

However, the Scotch Whisky Association said the plans infringed European competition treaties.

The countries which appeared to back the group are France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Bulgaria, all of which are significant wine producers.

Each have lodged “detailed opinions” against the plans to the European Commission. Another eight counties are said to have “made comments”.

No surprise

In a statement, the EU Commission said the content was confidential but “what we can say is we have a problem with the compatibility of minimum pricing plans under community law”.

The Scottish government said it was not surprised that there had been objections.

This is clearly about trade across Europe and I’m not surprised so many countries have raised concerns”

Campbell EvansScotch Whisky Association

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “The European Commission is in favour of addressing alcohol abuse and have asked us to consider their points, which we will.

“We are confident that we can demonstrate that minimum pricing is justified on the basis of public health and social grounds and I will continue to press the case for minimum pricing in the strongest possible terms.

“We will respond to the EC by the deadline of 27 December.”

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said it was “extremely disappointing” the Scottish government had continued to insist minimum pricing was legally competent when it seems not to be the case.

He added: “We want minimum pricing to work, and we gave our support on the condition it would be legally sound and that it could be dropped in future years if it wasn’t working.

“We await to see what will happen now, but any legal challenge in the European courts could be both costly to Holyrood and cause significant delays. But it is better to address these legal issues now than several years down the line.”

Campbell Evans, of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “For 30 years the European Court has said minimum pricing is illegal, we are disappointed it has gone this far.

“We would like to have worked with the government to tackle alcohol misuse, and hopefully we will work together in partnership.

“This is clearly about trade across Europe and I’m not surprised so many countries have raised concerns.”

Alan Anderson Whisky For Dafties


“One of the most popular acts at the festival” Galway Independent

“side splittingly hilarious… amazing, right on the edge, irreverent – just what Whisky needs” Dominic Roskrow of World Whisky Review

Alan Anderson is passionate about whiskey. He wanted to call his show Whisky for Dummies but got sued by the publishers of self-same books. Nonetheless he persisted with a slight name change but the premise is the same. You get to sample some fine malty, peaty beverages whilst Alan fills you in on the history, methodology and lore of this great drink. It’s a hilarious hour of educational drinking. Wine tasting is fir poofters.

This is the real (15 year old single malt cask aged) Mcoy.

‘Mercifully, Anderson isn’t just some Scotsman who wants to get drunk with you, he’s a passionate whisky enthusiast who absolutely needs his audience to learn about the magical amber liquid’.**** Adelaide Advertiser.

A very funny and genuinely informative show ****. – ThreeWeeks
Creative, fun, light hearted way to learn about whisky. – The Scotsman

Top Ten Places to enjoy a dram

Where are the best places that the Whisky Comedian has ever enjoyed a dram?

10. The snug of the Roseburn Bar, Murrayfield, Edinburgh. St Patrick’s Day 1990.

Aged 17 I had my first ever whisky in the snug of the Roseburn Bar before a famous Scotland rugby match at Murrayfield. After drinking 3 pints of Guinness with pie chasers, I was told by my chaperones to go to the bar and get 4 lagers… or so I thought. After 30 minutes trying to get served I wandered back to the snug with 4 lagers. I was actually told to get 4 Lagavulins. That’s where it all started and I have no recollection of Tony Stainger’s Grand Slam winning try for Scotland against the Auld Enemy.

9. Loaf, Deansgate Locks, Manchester.

University in Manchester was fun. In 2000 The Hacienda was sadly no more, The Comedy Store opened up at Deansgate Locks and next door was Loaf. Comedian Geoff Boyz was hosting a Johnnie Walker tasting night. It was 10 years since my first dram and this was the first proper whisky tasting I had been to. My eyes were opened… and so was Geoff’s mouth. Boy that man can drink.

8. Uisge Beatha / Dram, Woodlands Rd, Glasgow

Formerly called Uisge Beatha, Dram! is one of Glasgow’s best whisky bars. Home to the old Half Price Comedy Club, I spent every Saturday night for 3 years compering shows here – every week we gave away a bottle of single malt whisky in the audience prize draw. Happy times indeed. Sadly Glasgow’s licensing laws now forbid that sort of thing.

7. The summit of Schiehallion

My favourite Scottish Munro is Schiehallion. Every New Year we go to the family timeshare at Kinloch Rannoch. Every year we climb Scotland’s “Matterhorn”. Three years ago I almost got killed in an avalanche field with neighbours Mark & Suzy. The following year they climbed the mountain again and Mark popped the question.

6. St Bride’s School, East Kilbride.

In the summer of 1991 every Wednesday evening the newly former pupils of Claremont High School went to the quiz night at Hudson’s pub in East Kilbride. A group of between 10 & 20 of us would take part. We won 10 weeks on the bounce. Alternate weeks we would win a bottle of vodka or a bottle of whisky. The unwritten rule was that the bottle must be finished on the walk home. Every other week the bottle went either north towards Stewartfield or east towards St Leonards. Much much merriment was had on those walks home via St Bride’s school.

5. Old & New Dungeon Ghylls, Little Langdale, Lake District.

Every November a large group of former Manchester Uni pals get together for a weekend of hill walking and drinking. Every peak climbed means the opening of a different hip flask filled either with whisky, rum, saki or some unusual spirit purchased on someone’s foreign adventures. In the evening we merrily work our way along the back bar. Always the most fun weekend of the year.

4. Sligachan Hotel, Isle of Skye 

One of the best whisky selections in the world. Over 300 are arranged around the bar. It’s on the Isle of Skye, it has a stunnig view of the Black Cuillin mountain. What more can be said?

3. The Whiski Rooms, Edinburgh

Situated on The Mound, overlooking Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh, the Whiski Rooms is one of the most comfortable, contemporary whisky bars in the world. It’s definitely the one with the best urban views anywhere. Great food, great selection of whiskies, funky tunes and bloody fun staff.

2. The Abbatoir Private Bar, behind The Udderbelly, Edinburgh

I’ve never seen so many smiles on the faces of so many comedians as I do in this place when I open up a new bottle of whisky. The Abbatoir is the late night hang out for comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe. Over the past 2 years I have educated many many funny folk about the different joys of whiskies from Pub Landlord Al Murray to Police Academy’s Michael Winslow & his wife Sharon.

1. My kitchen

I got given 30 different bottles of whisky for my 30th birthday, since then the Scotch whicky industry has given me lots of different bottles form my audiences to sample. There is always a massive selection to choose from. Nothing gives me more enjoyment than having friends round for a meal and allowing them to taste lots of different drams.