I normally want to take home the whisky after a tasting. But last night, I wanted to take home the speaker.
Jura Master Distiller and Global Ambassador Willie Tait had a charm that completely stole the spotlight from the whisky he was introducing. And it’s hard to distract me from whisky. He talked about Scotch the way Pablo Neruda describes avocados, so by the time we came to the drinking part of the tasting, I felt as if I should talk to my glass seductively a little before just drinking it down.
Old Rip Van Winkle: The Younger Years
After tasting a good selection of Van Winkle whiskey recently, I feel I can honestly make a few observations:
1. It’s a whole lot of hype. $1,000 for a bottle of bourbon is too much. Hundreds of dollars for a bottle of bourbon is too much.
2. It’s fun hype. As long as I’m not paying $1,000, to be a part of the tastings and chat it out with people is interesting and entertaining.
3. It’s good stuff. Not going to lie. If it wasn’t so hard to find and not so expensive, I would be a happy pappy drinker regularly.
My resolutions for the new year are drinking more whiskey and reading more books, so I decided to start the year by reading about whiskey – in particular, the story about Pappy Van Winkle and the distillery he worked for, which was Stitzel-Weller.
Just flipping through the book is a nice experience – it is filled with family photos, pictures of old whiskey labels and distilleries, and little quotes and signs. My favorite is the sign they hung on the whiskey warehouse where the barrels were aging – “Quiet, Whiskey Sleeping.” That conjures up an image of happy little barrels with closed eyes, full and satisfied with their whiskey safe and resting to someday make it into a bottle.