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I was in the town centre; it was daytime. An old man seemed to appear from out of nowhere. White beard, gaunt look, stooped appearance.
‘I have to tell you something…’ he began. ‘It’s important…’ A crooked hand enclosed itself around my wrist.
I had been walking along Church Street, minding my own business, thinking of a review I had been writing for Ciao! A review on Bells Whisky. Was this man here to tell me not to do it? Had he somehow read my thoughts? He looked to be an alcoholic. Was I therefore wrong to promote the consumption of such drinks?
The review went as follows…
Being a lager lout and an occasional brandy drinker, a tipple of whiskey hardly ever passes my lips these days, but on occasion I have tasted such drinks (usually with a spot of coke – sorry I know it ‘ruins’ it).
If I do have a drop of the old stuff he I would normally search out Grouse or Bells.
Described as a ”Pleasing blend with a tangy, nutty flavour,” Bells comes in bottles of varying sizes, and the most common one of 70cl can set you back around twelve pounds.
It has been the leading brand in Scotland since the 1970’s.
In 1985 the Guinness Group which two years later evolved into United Distillers bought it. But it goes back as far as 1825, when Thomas Sandeman started trading as a whisky merchant.
Arthur Bell, who later became the sole partner, soon joined him. He was the first to start blending malt and grain whisky. By the 1880’s the firm focused on creating blended whisky. In 1904 is bore the name Bells for the first time, and it has gone on from there.
It is an amalgam of 35 malt and grain whiskies, which have matured for between 2 to 12 years.
As for taste, it is my personal favourite. It has a nice kick (even with coke) and you can feel it burning down into your stomach like hot fire on a chilly morn.
Alcohol Volume: 40%. Strong.
The old man looked at me eagerly.
‘Don’t tell me,’ I said. ‘I know what you are going to tell me. All about the wrongs of alcohol…’
‘I have to tell you,’ he said. ‘It’s important.’ His hand grew tighter.
‘What do you have to tell me?’
‘I know… you said…’
‘You have to know…’
And he said, ‘You need to blow your nose.’
‘Oh,’ I said and reached for a hanky. ‘I thought you were an…’
‘Alcoholic? Oh no… I write reviews for Ciao! Just need a shave… that’s all…’