Saturday, September 01, 2007
Michael Jackson, the Beerhunter, dies at home.
Last night after work I came across a sad piece of news, that Michael Jackson, the acclaimed beverage journalist and author had been found dead at his home in London. Whilst primarily known for his works on beer, Jackson was also a keen whisky drinker, and is credited with the development of Diageo's Classic Malt range. I was fortunate enough to meet him once when I was working at the Malmaison in Glasgow. He had come in from filming somewhere (presumably at BBC Glasgows studios) with none other that Oz Clarke. While Oz came across as very stand offish with the staff, Michael was very charming, and I had an interesting and educational chat with him about our range of malt whiskies. I had read somewhere that one of his biggest regrets was not getting the Ardbeg included in the Classic Malt range, but at the time is was owned by somebody else and Diageo were unwilling to purchase another mothballed distillery on Islay when they already owned three distilleries (? Lagavulin, Port Ellen and Caol Ila?). But I guess that Diageo's loss is Glenmorangie's gain. I dont claim to know Michael Jackson, but in my brief encounter with him he came across as intensely passionate about both beers and whisky, immensely knowledgable about them both, and keen to spread both the passion and his experiences. The beverage industry has truly lost a giant this week.