As far as holidays go, International Whisky Day is relatively young. The Dutch were the first to celebrate the holiday back in 2009 at the Whisky Day Festival. This year the festival celebrates its twentieth anniversary. Whisky Live sponsors this event each year.
Each year, sponsors host hundreds of whisky festivals around the year. Sadly, during this turbulent time, most sponsors are canceling or postponing events. However, some organizers are developing virtual events. So, if you have a favorite festival, be sure to check online for special notices and updates.
But, getting back to today’s celebration, International Whisky Day, the organizers did not choose a random date to mark the occasion. March 27th is a special day for whisky enthusiasts; it is the birthday of Michael Jackson, a noted British writer, and journalist.
Michael James Jackson was born on March 27th, 1942, in Wetherby, a market town and civil parish within the City of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. Jackson had a passion for beer and whisky as well. In the 1970s, his writings are credited with starting a worldwide renaissance in the brewing industry. In addition to writing, Jackson also hosted a television series entitled The Beer Hunter, broadcast in fifteen different countries.
While his impact on the beer industry, the American craft beer industry, in particular, was substantial, his influence was perhaps even greater in the world of whisky. In 1989, he published Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion. It quickly became the whisky connoisseur’s bible and has remained the best selling book on the subject of whisky. The last and final edition, the 7th, was published in 2015.
Throughout his career, he received numerous awards, including the prestigious “Master of the Quaich,” awarded by the Scotch Whisky Association. And, in 2013, the film documentary “Beer Hunter, the Movie” which documented his life.
Michael Jackson passed away on August 30th from complications to Parkinson’s disease. He was sixty-five years old.