Jim Richardson’s Guide to Drinking Scotch

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Our resident Scotland expert, Jim Richardson, has been traveling to the Highlands and Lowlands for more than 15 years (and tells us about his passion for the Inner Hebrides islands in National Geographic Traveler‘s latest issue). After enjoying a few “wee drams” over the years, he’s become a discerning (and poetic) Scotch enthusiast. We asked Jim to tell us if he has a favorite whisky. And, as it turns out, he has far more than a few:

Choosing favorite whiskies is a bit of a foolish endeavor. The whole point is endless exploration, never having to choose, the idea that — like the next island — the next whisky you try might just be better than the last.

But I have an affinity for the Islay whiskies: particularly Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Lagavulin. And now, more than ever, Bruichladdich, since I know the distiller and the story personally. Jura is in my blood now, the island and the whisky.

Over in Speyside I’d be happy with many, but somehow Mortlach has a lure out of all reason. Clynelish, with its salty tang, reminds me of the northeast coast.

And up in Orkney I’m always thrilled with Highland Park.

If, however, someone would like to offer me a dram of something not yet mentioned, then that whisky will be my favorite and we will spend a pleasant little while extolling its unparalleled virtues — a whisky without equal.

To see more of Jim’s photography, visit his website and follow him on Twitter @JimRichardsonNG.

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