Back home again for the time being

Posted Oct 9, 2007 john

Sir John Here!

I’ve been away for the past 5 weeks in England-shire and Brittany, France.
A mixture of a little (very) business and a much needed vacation.

We had a nice place in the mid to south of Brittany right in the heart of what was the resistance country in WW2 and you could almost imagine the thrust and counter thrust of the two opposing sides in this part of occupied France.

The scenery is very pleasing to the eye and this particular part of the country is just full of little towns and villages which all seem to be empty.
You very rarely see anybody out on the streets, but all of that changes when you one ventures into a cafe restaurant or bar, then it does seem like the whole of the local community is out in force.

Also the roads all through Brittany are just so quiet that you can travel for miles and not see another vehicle, so driving on the “wrong” side of the road for me, does not present that much of a problem……Just a little bit different to when I not so long ago drove from Cincinnati right into the Hyatt Regency in Wacker Drive in Chicago along the skyway, on a bucketing wet day, when it was almost impossible to see because of the spray from the juggernauts. The Wild Scotsman himself was nearly having kittens sitting in the passenger seat and telling me that I was going to hit the fender of the trailer in front. I just told him to keep the faith and he would be delivered safely into downtown Chicago. He then closed his eyes and thought of anything other than where he was!!! Me ?? I was ok I was driving the car!!!

Back to Brittany, the weather was just fantastic. 2 half days of rain in 4 weeks and a nice Temp of around 75 degs F most days.

We read a lot sitting in the garden…actually I read 7 books, that is probably 7 more than I read over the past few years. We also travelled around the area, visiting plenty of places of interest and enjoying good food and wine……Great!!!

We had taken the car across on Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth which is also a major Royal Naval base and Dockyard and where Admiral Horatio Nelson’s (who defeated Napoleon at Trafalgar) flagship the Victory is moored and can be visited by members of the public. The crossing was of around 10 hours to St. Malo and of course it was the same on the return jorney, which we did in daylight unlike the outward sail which we did overnight.

Our time spent in sout east England was taken up visiting our kids and grand kids plus of course a few friends, and I must say how much I do enjoy the pubs and eateries in that part of the UK.

Al in al a nice time away, but now it’s back to work, beginning this week with the Wild Scotchmen Whisky School at Bladnoch distillery, then at the end of next week I depart for the US of A for almost 3 weeks taking in San Fran. NY. Phili, and Pittsburgh doing shows in all of these great cities, and as well as being out on the road hustling for sales.

I can’t wait to get going!!!


Sir John

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Signing on and off for a while

Posted Aug 30, 2007 john

I am going abroad to Europe to be precise for my vacation beginning tomorrow.
The way I feel tonight ? I just might decide not to return to the UK, or to be more exact, Scotland.

All joking apart, I’m going to spend some time in Brittany, France a place which I love and where life is just so much more relaxed than here or in your great country…..the US of A.

What I love about that part of the planet is the sheer genuiness of the people, their kindness and their understanding of other people from different countries.
I have been there several times in the past and I never tire of it because of the warm welcome and the friendliness I find time after time.

These are real people, unlike Parisiens, who despise IMO folks like these, because “They are peasants”.
What these arrogant B……s forget is that these self same people, at least the older ones did not capitulate to the Nazis, unlike Gen De Gaulle and Paris, and as we all know De Gaulle ran off to London for the duration of WW11 then demanded to return to Paris as a national hero in front of the liberation parade. Thank God the American General Eisenhauer stopped that.

The Bretagnes as they are known are a very proud Celtic people and they have never forgotten who actually liberated them, and it was not De Gaulle!!!

Anyway, I’m going now and I’ll post when I return

Sir John


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August Bank Holiday Weekend-Again

Posted Aug 25, 2007 john

To pick up my theme of earlier, it actually is breathtaking that this country can continue to award itself ever more time off from work.
Most right minded folks would like to think that they work hard and contribute to the well being of not only themselves and immediate family but also to the nation.
It is therefore extremely depressing to learn that as a nation our personal debts total more than the GDP of UK inc.
It appears that 23% of the population have no debts, 43% apparently have a levael of debt that thay feel ok with, and the remaining 34% obviously must have massive levels of debt.

Instead of taking more and longer vacations this country should collectively be working harder to achieve a lowering of debt and people should only buy what they can comfortably afford.

This is a favourite theme of mine, because of my business problems in the 90’s, (most of the Far East economies went bust and I was heavily into that part of the world) I learned a very hard lesson in money management, like going broke is better than all of the theorising about the subject.

I can therefore say with absolute certainty that my attendance at the University of Life although bloody painful at the time has turned out to be the best learning experience of my life.

All these people up to their eyeballs in debt therefore receive no sympathy from me, because the answer is in their own hands, they can shape their own destiny, and taking more and longer vacations is definitely not the answer.

Sir John


Categories General

August Bank Holiday Weekend

Posted Aug 25, 2007 john

This is August Bank Holiday weekend – Again!!

I just cannot believe all the excuses that we have here in the Uk for taking holidays-in other words not working.

It defies belief that a country which is so much in personal debt can continue to “award itself” ever more vacation.

I’ll come back on this one later, when I’ve eaten breakfast.


Sir John

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Scottish Summertime

Posted Aug 5, 2007 john


I just got back from my mountain lodge in Perthshire.
I was 66 Years Young last Thursday and celebrated the occasion with 4 of my Grandchildren plus of course Lady Patricia McDougall!!

Uou may have wondered why I have not posted recently….well the answer’s easy….I forgot how to access this page!!!

Anyway now that I’m back, I intend to bombard you with all sorts of stuff over the upcoming weeks, before I go off for one month to our little place in Brittany France.

I need to practice my spoken French at least once per year!!!

I’ll post soon again.


Sir John

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Box Destilleri – Sweden

Posted Jul 12, 2007 john

I just got back from an exhasting, yet invigorating weekend in the northern part of Sweden.
In my capacity as an independent and international whisky consultant I have been retained by the consortium who propose to build this distillery.

It is fair to say that their vision is immense and potentially has far reaching positive consquences for the isolted community in which the site for this proposed project is situated.

There is absolutely no good reason why top quality malt whisky cannot be produced in one of the worlds last great natural wildernesses given the climate’s ability to dress the entire area and much more beyond in snow and ice for most of 6 months each year. Cool water makes for great whisky distillations and therefore for most of the year the climate and temperatures are ideal for the pursuit of perfection so far as whisky distillation is concerned.

We held a whisky festival for potential investors and other interested parties over two days last week end, and I was amazed to see hundreds of people show up as if by magic in an area whic is pretty remote.

Anyway I feel that we are on the right track and that all the indicators are for this project to be a success.

More later.

Sir John


Categories Whisky


Posted Jun 19, 2007 john

John McDougallMet up with my associate from Ostersund in the mid to north of Sweden a couple of days ago, and we discussed my next visit to his country at the beginning of July.

We are planning to build a distillery over there in the region known as the Hoga Kusten (High Coast), and we will be making presentations plus also tastings of my own bottlings of single cask single malt scotch whiskies to potential investors and other interested parties.

This could be a very exciting project if it gets the financial backing.
The site is absolutely brilliant, situated in an area of such natural beauty that it is difficult to describe, but if it comes off it will bring back to the region some much needed employment as in the past this was a hive of activity due to lumberjacking and sawmilling.

It would be simply great to be involved from start to finish in something like this and for me personally to be able to consult, then help to build, and finally to pass on some of my skills to a new and younger generation of Swedish Distillers would just be a fantastic experience.

I’ll keep you posted as to developments.
Sir John


Categories Whisky

Back from the Highland Lodge

Posted May 30, 2007 john

John McDougallI just got back from our Highland Lodge having had a great time Lady Patricia and me.

We did the Porsche car club tasting on Saturday night. This was a Fantastic event…BTW 50 classic Porsche’s from across the whole of Britain and some from the continent of Europe, was a wonderful sight to see……must have been tons of money in these beautiful cars!!!

I introduced a whole new audience to the Wild Scotsman Brand, also Golden cask 1984 Glengarioch, and John McDougall’s brand new Vatted Islay Malt!!

 On Sunday we went down to the Loch side, and saw a superb exhibition of Falconry. These birds of prey are just magnificent creatures and to see them at work is “different class”.

Then we had a BBQ and burgers of course —- Even the Wild Scotsman himself would have loved these burgers!!!!

Then I went back to the lodge and watched the Monaco Grand Prix, and I noticed that a Scotsman, Dario Franchitti from Bathgate, just 14 miles west of Edinburgh (near to where the W S’man’s family originated in Linlithgow) driving for the Andretti RG team had won the Indianapolis “500”, only the second Scotsman to have done so. The only other Scot, to have achieved this feat was the one and only Late Great Jim Clark in 1965, and who lived and worked on his Dad’s farm only a few miles from where I am, in the gorgeous Scottish Borders (With England) writing this posting.

You know some of you guys over there in the US should come to visit me & LP here in Scotland and you will have a great time.

Rent our lodge and you will literally be “In Heaven” in the Perthshire Highlands of this, the BEST small Country in The World.

Anyway I will write a whole lot more in the next few months/years as we all build up a world wide relationship .


Sir John  

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Categories Whisky

Going to my Lodge in the Highlands of Perthshire

Posted May 24, 2007 john

Tomorrow I’m off to Perthshire to the lodge.Doing a talk and tasting on saturday night for the Porsche motor club of Great Britain.

Looking forward to that and I will report back next week

Have a Great week end

Sir John

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Categories General

New Distilleries

Posted May 23, 2007 john

Several new distillery projects have been announced in recent weeks here in Scotland.

In no order of priority here is the news.

Duncan Taylor have announced a distillery development in Huntly Aberdeenshire. A highland distillery
Wm Grant and Sons have announced the intention to build a lowland malt distillery at theier Girvan Grain Distillery complex in Ayrshire.
The old Annandale distillery site at Langholm Dumfiressshire has been purchased by a private buyer with the intention of re-building and opening up again….Another lowland distillery!
Add on also the two which were completed last year, namely Kilchoman on Islay, and Daftmill in the Bow of Fife….another lowland!! plus the ongoing project (?) of Blackwood Distillers now back to mainland Shetland from information received.
The massive project announced my the mighty Diageo at Roseisle up on the Moray Firth, and it is obvious that some thing is “a stirring” in the valleys and glens of Scotland.
Oh! and the news this past weekend of a £10m upgrade of the Invergordon Grain distillery to bring production capacity up tp 80m lpa per year more than doubling existing capacity and making it the largest single whisky producing facility in Scotland. This announcement followed hard on the heals of the purchase of Whyte & Mackay last week by Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries Group of India.
Not just in Scotland is all activity taking place though, lookout for things happening in other parts of the world, Sweden & the US ?????

Scottish Borders

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