The Cask

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Mark Twain

About 10 years ago I was ordered a whisky. A 10-year-old Laphroaig to be precise. Knowing what I know now, this was a great kindness and a splendid way to cap off a meal. However at the time it filled me with dread. "I don't drink whisky" or "thank you, but I'll have a coffee" would have been entirely appropriate responses but a younger me mumbled thanks and took a deep breath.

The glass arrived. Before I even touched it I knew this wasn't going to go well. My Great-Grandfather had a particular fondness for TCP antiseptic and that was all I could smell as I looked at this oddly shaped glass. Little did I know that this was a perfectly acceptable note to detect in in this particular dram but "Why on earth would anyone choose to drink this for pleasure?" was all I could think. My host was either oblivious to my discomfort or quietly enjoying it because he said nothing.

Having less than no idea of what I was doing I mimicked the move of everyone else at the table and reached for the water jug although I was perhaps a little more liberal with my pouring. At last the moment of truth. I could delay no longer. The contents of that glass were to be consumed. I raised it to my mouth, trying my very best to hold my breath and took a mouthful. Mistake. Oh, biggest of the big mistakes! Despite my attempts to water this liquid out of existence, the moment it hit the back of my throat it burned. I spluttered. I coughed. Everyone else laughed.

Laphroaig was perhaps not the dram to start with and after this experience I had decided whisky was not for me. To my horror on the three successive nights more glasses were ordered for me. I think at this stage it was sport because I could not bring myself to admit that I could think of few thigs less pleasant to end a meal on. In fact, when asked on the first night what I thought of my dram (through the suppressed smile of my host), I cheerily reported that I was a big fan.

Despite what we shall charitably call my rocky beginning with whisky, I now have a love of it. The nights that followed that first experience became less unpleasant. I won't say that after four nights I was hooked but I did become fascinated with what people saw in this mysterious liquid. I had heard people talk with such reverence about whisky, and was keen to see what the deal was.

This blog is by no means authoritative nor are they the professional opinions of an expert. Pretty much just the musings of a guy who loves whisky.

Slàinte mhath!