Whisky is the drink that lets you walk up to strangers who have more money than you do.
"Hello, soon-to-be friends," you say, completely sober. "I am holding a whisky.”
"You must be interesting!" they greet you in reply. "Tell us about your travels in Java!"
The above is an excerpt from the very funny article Why Whisky is a Manly Drink by Brendan McGinley. To see where it goes from there, go here, whisky in hand.
From years of experience, I can tell you the best way to make your beloved happier than all the proverbial clams on high-tide beaches everywhere: Keep him well stocked with fine quality single malt scotch whisky.
Jim has been the beneficiary of such offerings every year for decades, both at Christmas and on his birthday.
To some degree, buying whisky makes for nice easy one stop shopping, but eliciting that shuddering gasp of pleasure followed by the acknowledgement that this latest bottle of smoke and grit is the finest most extraordinary thing ever created, and that I am, in fact, a genius for finding it, has become a bit of a slippery slope.
I started to spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to one-up my own self, researching online and trolling liquor stores and harassing liquor store experts to find something even better than the previous year.
The conversations with experts probably seemed odd to nosy people listening nearby.
“Do you have something so powerfully evil and gritty that it’ll stop the heart just from the aroma alone?”
“Why yes, of course we do, this one is so vile and nasty that it will make a grown man weep like a little girl, as he reaches for a second shot.”
This bi-annual fun came screeching to a halt, though, thanks to one particular whisky that cast a powerful spell over Jim.
A gift of a 25 year Bowmore, for example, which cost one arm, one leg and a firstborn, did not break the spell.
A gift containing four bottles, one from each whisky region of Scotland (Islay, Highlands, Speyside, Lowlands) and still, it did not break the spell.
He smiled and said pretty things, but I knew it was over. He had been ruined. His love is for one whisky only.
Mind you, it sure makes shopping easier.
I am talking, of course, about the finest scotch whisky in existence, according to Jim: Laphroaig, specifically Laphroaig Quarter Cask. It’s not even expensive, but by god is it ever peaty. And peat is what good whisky is all about to the depraved peat-addicted drinker who sneers at ‘smooth’, scoffs at ‘aged’, and goes straight for the bottle deemed ‘not unlike licking a tar-slicked road’.
Laphroaig has been described as:
‘Like eating coal from the depths of the earth’s core’
‘Tastes like something went horribly wrong and then immediately right again’
‘Like drinking a campfire’
The best descriptions are found below, though, in the video. It is fun to watch, and contains vastly improved lyrics for Christmas carols.
More Laphroaig videos, all fun, can be found here. And go ahead, try to understand even half of what they are saying.
On a sad note, so sad that I haven’t figured out a way to break the news to Jim: Peat is just about all peat-ered out. If you are a lover of the peat, be sitting down when you read this, and have a kindly shoulder close at hand to lean on. Alas, poor peaty.
We probably all need a good laugh to recover from that last paragraph, so I will leave you with the immortal words of Winston Churchill:
“The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learnt to like it.”
Two more quotes, for the road:
“Always carry a flagon of whisky in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake.” ~ W. C. Fields
“There are two things a Highlander likes naked, and one of them is malt whisky.” ~ Scottish proverb
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.