Aisling started to notice something peculiar while doing legal work at The Hague. She shared an open office with investigators, most of them men, and every Wednesday at 6 p.m., they would sneak off with little glasses. What is this – some kind of boys club? She asked them. They insisted it wasn’t a boys club, it was a whiskey club, but that girls don’t drink whiskey. Aisling sized up the Aussies, Kiwis, and Fins in the group, wondering what exactly they would know about whiskey.
“If we could find a girl who likes whiskey, she can join,” they said.
I know Lagavulin wants to be tough. The first whiff is like leathery shoes – hello, Pete! He comes on strong, lingers. I know what he’s going for. But – and he would hate me for saying this – he melts quickly. Imagine your favorite hug. Now put that hug inside your throat. There, ahhh. Warm. Happy. Sorry, tough guy, but the act doesn’t last - you just become more friendly and loveable the more I know you. There are certainly other Scotches to be had, but once I have switched to Lag for an evening, I just don’t want anyone else.
Lagavulin is a single malt scotch from the Island of Islay. It has the smoky smell of my grandpa - who, ironically, often smelled like Scotch - because it is not afraid of fire. It spends a long time drying over the peat fire in its early stage when it just barley dreaming of being Scotch. Peat (also called Pete in this blog) is a real divider. Some love him. Others can’t stand him. If you can’t stand him, Lag is not for you. Don’t even bother. Leave more for the rest of us.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that whiskey goes with everything, but most especially writing (and country songs – more on that later).
Ernest Hemingway. And according to a picture of his Cuba home in Vanity Fair's Oct. 2011 issue, Old Forester was one of the bottles in his living room. I don’t know if it was one of his favorites or if it was left when he died because he didn’t like it. But it is a decent whiskey and he is more than a decent writer.
Four Roses bourbon was found at Faulkner’s home in Oxford, Miss., according to an Oct. 14 New York Times article.
"Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake."
I’m a big believer in flasks. It’s like taking water to the desert – sometimes you have to bring your own when there is none to be found.
I have dated many whiskies and I tend to use them interchangeably depending on my mood. They don’t mind being used; they are dependable, usually available, and I don’t care if they don’t love me as much as I love them. I can tell them my problems, cry with them, laugh with them…you get the picture. And so I refer to them by first names:
Jack is Jack Daniel’s, one of my first loves. Pictured to the right. Fine lookin' man.
James or Jamie is Jameson. He was a gift (from God!) on my 21st birthday.
Jim or Jimmy is actually Jim Beam. I knew him better in my youth; we’ve kind of grown apart, although I hear he has some older brothers – Devil’s Cut, let’s meet up – that I keep meaning to flirt with.
Mark – Maker’s Mark. I’m a sucker for that red wax.
Pete, a.k.a. Peat, is actually named after the ingredient that gives whiskey that smoky taste.