HE’S American, he lives in Dianella and he’s in love with Scotland’s national drink.
Nathan DeTienne isn’t your typical whisky connoisseur.
In fact, he fell in love with the good stuff when he went through a bout of toothache and used whisky as an analgesic.
“My dentist was quoting me around US $2500 to fix my teeth, but I was on minimum wage and couldn’t afford it,” he laughs.
“So I used some whisky to numb the pain.”
Since that inauspicious introduction, DeTienne has come on leaps and bounds and now has his own “whisky fiend” blog and club in Perth.
“I started doing the blog as a bit of fun: just reviewing whiskies and telling people what I thought, but it started to get a lot of followers,” he said.
“I knew it was popular when after announcing I was going to Scotland on my blog, several distilleries contacted me and wanted me to visit and try out their product.”
DeTienne started up his own whisky club on Facebook nine months ago and now has around 550 members.
He says most are men, age around 30, dispelling the myth that single-malts are drunk only by the wealthy elite or weather-beaten old fishermen who lean on Scottish bars.
“I find that a lot of young men who are into craft beers are also into whisky, because they like strong, bold flavours,” says the 33-year-old.
“A lot of craft beers are from American breweries so you find that a lot of people then migrate to American whiskies, which are quite popular at the moment.
“We also have some female members as well, so whisky is definitely starting to appeal to a new generation and audience.”
DeTienne, who works for a Perth beer importer, says his favourite tipple at the moment is the scotch Talisker.
“I would say that Glenfiddich, Glenlivet or Glenmorangie or good introductory whiskies,” he says.
“But it’s hard to tell, some people like something peaty and bold like a Laphroaig—it’s all down to personal taste.”
As part of his club he holds free educational seminars on whisky. You can check out DeTienne’s blog at http://www.squidgyashwhiskyfiend.blogspot.com.au/.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK