I never could stomach the smell of the stuff. And I've always blamed my mother for that - she drank it, and I remember when I used to run up to her with a cut or scrape at the beach, she would dip her napkin in her drink, dab the wound, and send me on my way, the wound sterilized without her needing to get out of her chair. (She was a registered nurse, it should be noted.) So I always associated the smell of scotch with medicine, and was never able to choke it down. To be fair, I don't think her brand was of very good quality, but still - I don't have a very sophisticated nose and blends and single malts all pretty much smell the same to me. I know that's blasphemy. Bear with me, I've already admitted I don't have a sophisticated nose. Shut it.
But scotch drinkers are so loyal to their particular brand, and have such lovely, poetic things to say about it - and I love the idea of drinking something that you just sip at, while having a real conversation, rather than gun back so you can fit in as many as possible till last call.
Decided I'd try to see what people are always banging on about. "Oh, you should do a tasting, try some really good stuff, you'll grow to appreciate it, it's an acquired taste...blah, blah, blahhhhh."
So last weekend I bought myself a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black, figuring that might be a good place to start educating myself. I'm looking for a sophisticated drink, so may as well start with something reasonably good, but not INSANELY expensive. No sense diving into anything cheap, and the upgrade to Johnnie Walker Blue, I'm told, is not enough of a jump in quality to be worth the extra coin. Last night, after dinner, for the first time in my life, I poured myself a scotch.
I.... poured... myself... a scotch.
There's a perfectly normal English sentence.
You can't say I 'choked it down,' more like I 'allowed miniscule bits of it to enter my mouth and dissipate as it got to the back of my tongue' - the corners of my mouth pulling themselves down into a kind of grimace with each tiny sip. They say the sense of smell is the one most closely tied to memory - and every time I raised that glass to my mouth and had a whiff it was like willingly sticking my nose into a bucket of some industrial strength antiseptic.
Repeated, trying to suppress the ghastly frown, not succeeding. Remembered I was alone, stopped trying to suppress the grimace - made a night of it.
It took me from about 7:30 till about 9:30 to finish my two fingers of scotch, taking my baby sips and the occasional gulp of water. Have to admit the lovely warm feeling that went down my throat and through my torso was very, very nice, but it took an effort. Then, as I was (gratefully) putting the empty glass in the sink, I thought, "well, I'm glad I have a bottle of the stuff in the house in case we have a guest who likes it, anyway," and "maybe something sweeter, like brandy, or some other cordial."
But now, as I sit here at work, watching the clock...the memory of that malty smell, and the warmth in my chest and toes is not as entirely unappealing as it should be. I think...I think I might want a scotch. Is that weird?