Whisky Lovers

September 17, 2014


You’re holiday really does start from the second you step onboard – whether you’re a foodie, wildlife watcher or bananas about bourbon we’ve got something for you!

If you’re a whisky drinker, or even if you’d like to give it a try, head for our onboard shop to speak to Richard – he is one of our resident whisky experts. Enjoy trying a great range of whisky’s with Richard, as well as being spoilt for choice on which whisky you can take home with you.

Richard’s enthusiasm for whisky came from passengers expressing their love of it. He has recently visited Scotland to learn more about the whiskys onboard. We find out more about Richard, & his visit to Scotland, below:

Name & position:

Richard George Jose, Shop Assistant

Tell us how long you have been working for DFDS Seaways & what life is like onboard.

“I’ve been working for DFDS Seaways for almost 20 years. I’ve been on KING SEAWAYS for 9 years now, having previously worked on WINSTON CHURCHILL, KING OF SCANDINAVIA, ADMIRAL OF SCANDINAVIA, PRINCE OF SCANDINAVIA & DUKE OF SCANDINAVIA.

I have worked in the onboard shop since my days on PRINCE OF SCANDINAVIA, but prior to that I worked as a Commodore Steward & once as a Bar Tender.

The best aspect to life onboard is meeting people from all over the world – both passengers and fellow crew members. I enjoy working in a job that I am totally comfortable with & that I really love…”

How did you discover that you had such a passion for whisky & its traditions?

“I first became interested in learning more about whisky as increasingly more passengers spoke about how nice it was & how good whiskys are. The most interesting & unusual fact about whiskys is the long, slow process that goes into preparing it – starting from drying the barley, by malting, mashing, fermenting, distilling & maturing in many different kinds of casks. This process can take many years to complete”

What is the most popular whisky onboard?

“The most popular whiskys onboard are from Islay, Jura, Speyside & Highlands areas of Scotland.

From Islay, we find that Bowmore, Laphproaig, Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain & Bruichladdich whiskys are popular, but that Dalmore & Glenmorangie from the Scottish Highlands also seem to go down well with passengers”

Tell us about your recent visit to Scotland to learn all about the different whiskys.

“When I found out that I was able to go on a visit to Scotland to learn more about the many types of whisky, I was really happy – not only because I can taste some of the world’s finest whiskys, but it is the experience that I have longed for. Despite sailing on this route (Newcastle-Amsterdam) for many years, I have never been lucky enough to visit Scotland!

Having thoroughly enjoyed the delights of Islay whiskys, we made a day visit to the island of Jura. Arriving into Craighouse, the main centre on the island surrounded by forest, there are two places that you will see – the Jura distillery & the Jura hotel. The distillery is small, in keeping with the island, whose population is only around 200, but the people are very friendly. The staff at the distillery are very knowledgeable about the range of Jura whiskies & very accommodating, allowing us to taste a variety of different whiskies.

We all agreed that all of them tasted very good but that our preference was for the heavy peaty one. This proved to be a very worthwhile visit, with some stunning scenery and fascinating ancestry, but it allowed me to see up close and in person the step by step process of making a fine single malt whisky, which previously I have only seen in books or online.

The following day we visited the Bowmore distillery. Guided by the Master distiller through their process, we felt very special being allowed to visit their famous ‘No.1 VAULT’ – last visited by the Prince of Monaco!
Our final day was spent at Auchentoshan distillery, learning yet another way of processing malt whisky. I’m pleased to say that our trip to Scotland was not only educational, but also left me with some very special memories”

What is upcoming for the whiskies onboard?

“We have some new travel retail whiskies coming up: Bowmore (Black Rock, Gold Reef & White Sands), Jura (Turas Mara), Talisker (Dark Storm) & Laphroaig QA cask. These whiskies are only available to purchase in travel retail shops, and not ashore. We also have a really exciting new whisky coming onboard soon called Octomore – & it is the world’s most heavily peated whisky!”

So the next time that you think about what to do onboard – head to the shop to enjoy a fun and memorable whisky tasting session with Richard!

Look out for our other piece from Richard, where he explains all about the best way to sample the finest whiskies.

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