Catching up with friends

3 September 2012

I recently caught up with an old friend and very important whisky connoisseur, Mahesh Patel.

It is fair to say that Mahesh’s great passion in life is whisky. A successful commercial real estate developer in Atlanta, Georgia, he is best known in whisky circles as the founder of the Universal Whisky Experience. An event for whisky aficionados, connoisseurs, and collectors, it is a great opportunity to attend master classes taught by brand leaders and sample some of the finest whisky from around the world.

 

Adding to the collection he has curated for over 20 years, Mahesh successfully bid for a bottle of the Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve at an auction held at the Statue of Liberty in New York in March. At a record price of $94,000, his bottle is a true collector’s item – one of only eleven produced to commemorate the 110th birthday of the late Ms. Janet Sheed Roberts, granddaughter of our founder, William Grant. The special edition whisky has a creamy vanilla taste with a hint of smokiness, beautifully counterbalanced with some sweeter oak
notes.

One of the many things Mahesh and I share in common is that we are both `Keepers of the Quaich’. This is an exclusive club with a total of 2,100 members spread across 87 different countries. To be eligible for membership, potential ‘Keepers’ must have at least ten years’ experience in the whisky industry and have contributed significantly to the promotion of Scotch whisky.

Mahesh was inducted into the `Keepers` last year, where he also met Peter Gordon, our Chairman at the time. I became a `Keeper` in 2007 at Blair Castle, which is located just 7 miles from the Blair Athol Distillery where I was first employed in 1971 aged 18. It’s fair to say I’ve come some way since then!

Until the next time, Slainte!