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Forget the £1 million tastebuds – what about the £1.6 million nose?

Forget the £1 million tastebuds – what about the £1.6 million nose?

Forget the £1 million tastebuds – what about the £1.6 million nose? Placing value on a body part is surely one of the more unusual jobs an insurer can undertake – and there are unique stories behind every case.

It was just yesterday that we told you about the case of a worker at Cadbury who had her tastebuds insured for £1 million – and now we can tell you about a whisky master who once insured his nostrils for £1.6 million.

According to an STV report, the discerning nose belongs to Richard Paterson, a master blender based in Glasgow who is now in his 50th year in the industry.

His family history in whisky dates back to the 1930s with Paterson following in the footsteps of both his father and his grandfather. Speaking to STV he explained that his grandfather “established a specialist blending, bottling and brokerage firm in 1933, and my father took this over in the 50s. I nosed my first whisky at the age of eight, and I would say that whisky is definitely in the blood.”

For Paterson, enjoying a good whisky begins with the smell – and he had already achieved master blender status for Whyte and Mackay by the age of just 26, earning the nickname ‘The Nose’.

“As the main tool of my trade, my tasting, assessing and blending skills are based on my sense of smell,” he explained. “This is of such importance to the distillery that at one time one of my managers decided to arrange insurance for my nose, just to make sure that we were covered should anything happen.”

That figure was placed at £1.6 million – although Richard says there is currently no value placed on his body part.

“I told them not to renew the insurance once it came to an end - if anything did happen to my nose, there’s not a huge amount that an insurance claim could help us with,” he explained.

Now Paterson is not only a whisky expert but also a viral star – his whisky tasting videos on YouTube have become a huge hit with Scotch enthusiasts. However, he insists he does not drink as much as some people may expect.

“Most of the time I can tell everything I need to know about a whisky from the nose, so I don’t need to taste each one,” he told STV. “During tasting events and whisky presentations across the globe I have been known to enjoy a few drams during the course of the evening.

“However, my relationship with whisky is one of moderation and control. Too much and you inevitably don’t have clarity to enjoy and appreciate the subtleties of the drink.”


Related stories:
Cadbury’s worker gets her tastebuds insured for £1 million