Put the pasta water on the boil and assemble and prep your ingredients.
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it's fragrant and just beginning to color. Add 3 T whisky and turn up the heat to medium high for about a minute to cook off some of the alcohol. Return the flame to medium low and add the heavy cream. Whisk frequently and turn down the heat if it gets above a bare simmer.
Cook penne til al dente. When it's a minute or two from being done, add the smoked salmon and remaining 1 T whisky to the cream sauce.
Reserve about a half cup of the penne cooking water and drain. Return the drained penne to the pot and place on a low flame. Pour the cream sauce over the penne. Add a tablespoon of the reserved cooking water (or more if the pasta looks dry), and combine. Sprinkle with chives and serve.