Read the winning entries of the Michaelmas competition, chosen from many entertaining answers. These five alumni will receive a bottle of Glenfarclas 15-Year Old Single Highland Malt Whisky each, donated by Pol Roger Portfolio. 

… in an elegant decanter, with a mortar-board shaped stopper, on a silver salver. Its flirtatious, perfumed high notes would conjure romance on the wildflower banks of the moonlit Cherwell. It would be balanced with the robust, masculine core strength of the whisky maturing after 1979 ­ a rare privilege, a celebration. Its ambience would transport me to an ivory tower. There, the whisky genii would weave spells with the essence of wisdom and distinction, mixed with laughter and handfuls of history. I would treasure it, be inspired by it and reminisce; souvent me souviens.
Dr Paula Sells (LMH, 1967) Zoology


... frowned upon by one of its most famous fellows, John Wesley. As a founder of Methodism he implored good Christians "to taste no spirituous liquor... unless prescribed by a physician." It is worth knowing, therefore, that the medicinal qualities of whisky are recognised even by modern science. Studies have found small doses can help protect against heart disease, strokes and cataracts. So I for one would be grateful for a bottle or two of Glenfarclas in the medicine cabinet. Just as a preventive. And I hope my venerable antecedent, who did so much for our spiritual health, would understand.
Stephen Smith, (Lincoln, 1999) Physics 


… Dalwhinnie 15 years, from the highest distillery in Scotland. At Christmas a bottle of Dalwhinnie 15 years arrives ­ a present from one of my wartime friends. This recalls the time, in January 1942, when one of our mountain artillery batteries found sanctuary at the distillery when overwhelmed by a sudden blizzard. Mules were rubbed down, blanketed and fed, then tethered under cover. Time now for the gunners to spread their sleeping bags on the floor of the distillery. The warmth ­ and the mingled aromas ­ are still remembered. 
Geoff Tudor (Christ Church, 1945) Modern History 

Christ Church 

… the Arran Malt Amarone Finish, which like Keble stands out on the shelf from its caramel and golden-hued neighbours with bold carmine notes gleaned from finishing in fine red wine casks. It is a younger whisky from a younger (but still independent) distillery who hold to traditional methods of production while offering good value for the price. Such is Keble, a place where students from all walks of life are welcomed and vatted together in iconic brick walls to develop greater complexity through years of extra maturation.
Judson Laughter, (Keble, 2000) English


… Lagavulin matured in a Pedro Ximénez cask.

St Hilda’s and the Lagavulin distillery share an out of the way location by water which largely defines the character of both college and whisky.  Lagavulin is stacked with character as were the undergraduates of St Hilda's in the early '70s. But the maturation in Pedro Ximénez casks adds a softer facade to the Lagavulin - as the St Hilda's members of my day were women first and foremost  One has enjoyed, savoured, and long remembered fondly the whisky and the college.
Elaine Stead (St Hilda's, 1971) Geography


Images: Luke Hughes, Andrew Lawson, Oxford University Images 


By Peter Graham La...

Ask Geoff Whittaker, a contemporary from Lincoln, ( 1960?) ,who participated. In a Management Buy out of one of the
8 ISLAY Whiskies ( began with a B). He marked my cards on Whisky and tilted me towards Speyside ,12 year old
(Need not be older ,as the peak has been reached).,50/50 with water. He also helped to found the "0rder of the Quaich"
A great idea, as it was rooted in Scottish tradition. For what it is worth,!PGL

By Julian Roach, P...

What a great deal of misty Scots tosh is talked about whisky. All of it charming and entertaining, but... Peatiness is much spoken of in certain whiskies as being part of the special local quality that the French would call 'le terroir', when in fact all the malt for all the whiskies comes from the same great industrial maltery, where they will simply dial in the degree of 'peatiness' you mention in your order and choose to market as your 'characteristic'. The reason certain 'fine' whiskies are 'matured in old sherry casks' is, fairly obviously, that without the flavour of sherry they would be unremarkable if not unpalatable. Anyone with any sense - and anything of a palate - would head for Jerez to begin with. The range of drinking experience offered by sherries is much greater and vastly more rewarding. The one area in which Scotch beats Sherry hands down, of course, is the fundamentally bogus business of marketing. There, you must hand it to the canny Scot, Master of the Deeply Bogus since Sir Walter invented cross-gartered highland dress and all the trimmings, just to charm Queen Victoria.