UK trumpeter Matt Halsall with Mario from Mario’s bar
Another tale of European travel.
I was in Genoa in the northern part of Italy a week or so back, and as is my way, I decided to go looking for a single malt. To my delight, it seemed that every bar in town had a genuine Scottish single malt whisky.
To my dismay, they all carried the same single malt whisky, it was cheap, abundant, a mere 5 years old – and not one I’d encountered in Britain.
I was a little surprised to find it somewhat unremarkable. I thought it’d be downright awful. Still – it was 2am, I was hanging out with musicians, I didn’t know the Italian for “no ice, please”, and they were pouring generous measures. I was delighted to find a single malt at all – not least of which one that was perfectly palatable.
And when I say generous measures, we’re talking easily 150ml. With a handful of icecubes on top of that, we were more or less filling the tumbler.
As the reviews mention – it’s fairly insubstantial. Not unpleasant by any stretch of the imagination – but a quaffable malt.
And for some reason, you can be pretty much assured that you’ll find it in any bar you walk into in Northern Italy. But personally – I recommend Mario’s Bar.
Apart from the big, prominent TV, the bar is incredibly relaxing. Mario himself is friendly and generous – and will recognise you and talk to you at length whenever you go back there.
He’ll only talk to you at lenght in Italian of course, so I’d just smile and nod whenever he did that – but it’s all enthusiasm, beaming smiles and welcoming gestures from him, so that’s good enough for me.
I’m sure that bottle in the picture was full when we arrived…