InterviewProust Questionnaire

Proust Whisky Questionnaire: Dan Woolley

Dan Woolley is the National Whisk(e)y Ambassador for The Exchange, looking after distilleries including Yamazaki, Jim Beam, Bowmore and, of course, his beloved Laphroaig. He is also involved with the Lord Byron distillery in Byron Bay.

Describe your job in five words

Whisky whisky and more whisky.

What do you appreciate most in a whisky?

The nose.

What do you appreciate least in a whisky?

When the glass is empty.

What is your most treasured whisky?

Bottle 1 of 1 of a 1992 single cask Laphroaig hand-picked by John Campbell from his favourite cask at Laphroaig.

What is your favourite virtue in a whisky bar?

Music, lighting, staff and a lot of whisky to choose from.

What do you most dislike in a whisky bar?

Snooty staff full of attitude and false bravado.

If you could have any job in whisky, what would it be?

Master of wood at my own distillery… working on that one at the moment.

What is your favourite distillery name?

Ask me again in 3 months.

Who is your hero in whisky?

I don’t believe in heroes, they exist in comics and movies.

What is your idea of whisky happiness?

Making whisky with my wife ’till I’m old and senile.

What phrase do you most overuse when talking about whisky?

“There’s no such thing as too much whisky.”

When do you lie about whisky?

That honestly very rarely happens, it gets me into trouble quite a bit.

Who or what is the love of your whisky life?

My wonderful whisky wife.

What is your happiest whisky memory?

Getting married inside a warehouse at the Laphroaig distillery earlier this year.

What is your saddest whisky memory?

Finishing the last bottle of 1983 Port Ellen bottled for the 2011 whisky show London. I cried.

Who do you most admire?

There are plenty of people that I respect a hell of a lot. John Campbell, Ian Miller, Bill Lark and Tim Duckett. Good mates, good blokes.

Sherry cask or bourbon cask?

Depends on my mood, time of day, what I’m eating and the company I’m keeping.

If you could work at one distillery, which one would it be?

My own.

What is your greatest achievement?

Raising my son, marrying my true love and starting my own whisky distillery.

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