Friday, December 04, 2009

Sorry, almost forgot I had a blog.

Who out there is a scotch drinker?

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.

Gagggghhhhh. Sip. Ssssssswallowwww. Gulp. Breathe.

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?


There we are.


Blogger Annie said...

Yes. It definitely is weird. I never could stomach the stuff either. I think I'll stick with Jameson.

05 December, 2009 07:12  
Blogger Andraste said...

Well, Annie, Jameson's is awfully nice, and may well end up being my 'sipping' hooch of choice. But I just had to try it, and I have to say, it's a lot less disgusting now that I've forced my way through the first barrier. *hic*

How've you been, by the way?

05 December, 2009 22:05  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

When I was a lad, I was fine with ordinary blended whiskeys, but one year at uni, I shared my digs with an alcoholic with expensive tastes. He loved his single malts and would very often call me in to share one with him if I got back late from the library.

Over the course of the year I developed quite a sophisticated palate. I didn't realise this until I was in a pub and someone bought me a blended scotch and I almost spat it all over them. Foul stuff.

I rarely drink alcohol at all these days, but on occasion I do like a good single malt :)

06 December, 2009 14:37  
Blogger Annie said...

Maybe I should clamber out of this Jameson rut and give it a try. Maybe next week.

I've been good. In the process of buying a house down in Maryland. Connecticunt is boring and too far away from my girls and my favorite pub. Priorities.

06 December, 2009 17:54  
Blogger Andraste said...

Kim- If you only do something once in a while, no sense doing it badly! I haven't yet tried the single malts, but we do have some that we got as gifts lying around the house. I think I'll be trying some nice Bowmore next.

Annie - CT is boring, isn't it? I've never been to Maryland though - dying to go to Baltimore someday though, and check out Camden Yards and maybe some Poe sites.

Thanks, guys, for still checking in here, by the way! I may go dormant, but I have something to say ONCE in a while!

06 December, 2009 22:05  
Blogger AnFearbui said...

I like Ardbeg myself.
If you ever get the chance try Midleton very rare.....lovely but bloody expensive.
few other irish whiskeys worth trying are Bushmills malt, Redbreast and connemara(the only peated single malt).
Try a spoonful of water in the whiskey before drinking, it gets the aromas going.

07 December, 2009 07:00  
Blogger Annie said...

I have a bottle of such Midleton. Outstanding.

08 December, 2009 10:13  
Blogger Medbh said...

JWB is Mr. M's preferred scotch.
It tastes like ACE bandages marinated in iodine to me, so I pass on the scotch.
Years ago I did like Bushmills but I hardly ever have a taste for it now.

08 December, 2009 11:40  
Blogger Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I go for Arran's myself. Their 10 year old is grand. Knocked back a bottle of their Robbie Burns 250th with a friend this summer - it was even grander.

Johnny Walker can go and stew.

08 December, 2009 21:27  
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12 December, 2009 07:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Dad was a scotch drinker. He liked Bell's and every christmas we all used to buy him a bottle. He always liked a glass before retiring to bed..sometimes with Stones ginger wine added. (it had to be Stones, no other would do. I don't like the taste of it myself, always reminds me of peppered water.

13 December, 2009 18:07  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I don't like whiskey, but will drink a glass of Baileys without a hitch, which is odd.
Tequila though, that shit is trouble.

14 December, 2009 09:44  

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