Just Derek

Whisky for me is an emotional drink.

They say to tell a good story you should start at the end and work back, well that’s not possible for my story, as it's a journey and with each day it moves forward. So, let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Here's Derek (he's in the white shirt). He would be surprised, proud and involved cause he was just Derek.

It started back in early 2000s with a mild disagreement with a very good friend called Derek and the words I uttered "I just don't like single malt whisky!" followed by his forceful reply   "trust me, go buy a bottle of single malt whisky, stick with it and it will change you."

I took Derek's advice and I still remember clearly that on a cold Sydney winters day, walking into a Sydney local liquor store next door to home (yes that was a dangerous idea living next to a liquor store). I was faced with shelves of numerous whisky bottles and having just no idea what I was looking at. I remember picking up various bottles and I finally purchased my first ever bottle of single malt Scotch whisky. I remember the sense of pride, yet I knew not why but little did I know that was the start of my whisky journey and down that rabbit hole (or road)  that I would go.

The next day I remember pouring into a glass tumbler a decent pour. I sniffed it, nope still didn't float my boat, I tasted it, nope not for me but I at least finished that bottle over many months. 

Derek passed away in 2005, thanks to a poor heart and an almost obsessive love of rich food and fine alcohol. The spark of my whisky passion was born out of this as I remember after Derek's funeral, his family gave me his collection of open whisky bottles, thinking I loved whisky (remember I did not). Weeks later I again took out my tumbler, poured one of those unknown whiskies but this time it was very different.

I poured more than one whisky and realised that each bottle had a different flavour, aroma and appearance and, well, it was much like wine. All very different and something to explore.

I can only remember one bottle from that collection, that became my first whisky collection.

It was a Lagavulin Distillers Edition.  That was it, in front of me was a small bunny inviting me to go down the whisky rabbit hole and it was smiling. I did, and I was hooked.

I have an emotional connection to whisky and when I laid my very first cask I took immense pride in writing on the cask, Derek, for my friend.

Now my first bottle release from that cask is called Just Derek …  and I truly believe if Derek was alive today then he would be very much part of Craft Works Distillery.

Derek was the spark and Bruichladdich was the ignition , that’s another story for another day.

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