His is an enviable job. A former journalist with BBC,Alex Robertson literally lives out of a suitcase. The international brand ambassador of Chivas Brothers (the makers of Scotch brands such as Chivas Regal,Ballantines and The Glenlivet),Robertson now travels to as many as 20 countries in a year conducting sessions for whisky novices and aficionados on the provenance,heritage and craftsmanship of the luxury whiskies he represents. Just back from Serbia,Robertson was in Chandigarh this week to conduct a session on the finer nuances of single malt whiskies,The Glenlivet to be precise,as well as dish out food pairings.
The first time I visited India was last year and didnt get to go beyond Delhi, said Robertson,who would be touring Mumbai,Kolkata and Chennai this time around. His travels,said Robertson,have been learning experiences. I was surprised to see that in China,they paired their Scotch with green tea. It actually tastes refreshing, he said. Terming India as one of the top 20 markets for fine Scotch whiskies,Robertson (also the founder of Glasgows first and only Whisky Club) said,The consumers here are very knowledgeable and eager to learn about the history and heritage of the whisky they sip on. While prawns and cod,he said,go very well with the single malt,they are no match to the Indian tandoori dishes. I was fascinated to know of charcoal cooking here and feel tandoori preparations complement the single malt as well, he said.
Back home in Speyside,Robertson said,the older malts are stored in cherry wood casks with a charcoal finish on the inside to lend it a smoky flavour. The Scotch whisky offers many flavours,ranging from sweet to smoky and even hints of vanilla, he said.