Top Tens

Inspired by another blogger asking what the Whisky Comedian’s top ten books were (no idea why) here are a list of top ten whisky related things.

Whisky Comedian’s Top Ten Books

Iain Banks – Raw Spirit: In Search Of The Perfect Dram
Taught me loads about whisky and how not to be a whisky snob.
Oliver Jeffers – Stuck
my 2yo daughter’s favourite book. Genuine laugh out loud surreal fun for adult & toddler.

Christopher Brookmyre – Pandaemonium
Brookmyre is by far my favourite author. IMHO Pandaemonium his most fun, most violent and most political of books.

David Millar – Racing Through The Dark
Shining a light on the darkness of professional cycling
Harper Lee – To Kill A Mocking Bird
First book at school that I really studied and enjoyed.
Daniel Start – Wild Swimming
After going down hill fast on a bike or skis wild swimming is the biggest adrenaline rush you can get.
Conn Iggulden – The Dangerous Book For Boys
Reminding a middle aged dad how to be a boy scout again.
Sue Townsend – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Aged 13 & 3/4)
When published I was a year younger than him. I felt his angst.
Irvine Welsh – The Acid House
Although I’d seen & read Trainspotting, this is the book that opened my eyes to modern Scottish literature
The Times Atlas Of The World
Name me a man in the world who can not sit and stare at an atlas for hours on end and dream of far away lands. Add a comfy armchair, a fire and a whisky and you have the perfect evening for creating ambitions.

Whisky Comedian’s Top Ten Place to enjoy 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 for 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.

Whisky Comedian’s Top Ten Tunes

Here is the Whisky Comedian Top Ten Tunes for a night of dramming.

10. Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

9. Happy Monday’s – Step On

8. Stevie Wonder – All I Do 

7. Gat Decor – Passion (Do You Want it Right Now Mix)

6. Orbital – Chime

5. De La Soul – Saturdays 

4. James Taylor Quartet – Starsky and Hutch Theme

3. Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator

2. Sugar Hill Gang – Rappers Delight

1. Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

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