Yes please! /rimshot
Much like the first time you had a sip of beer, Scotch is an acquired taste. Let’s face it, drinking any alcohol straight is an acquired taste unless you’re purebred Irish. What’s odd is that I could never drink, let alone enjoy drinking alcohol unmixed until I retired from drinking. Retired from drinking, yet you drink Scotch? Riiight… An explanation my good sir.
In my early years (like 5 years ago), and it is not my intent to glorify this in any way, but a normal weekend involved professional level debauchery, followed by a Sunday wishing I had made alternative life choices in the preceding 48 hours. In 2010, I quit smoking, quit drinking professionally to focus on the World Karate/Kickboxing World Championships (WKA) in Edinburgh, Scotland. I spent 10 months in the gym and enjoyed not banging on deaths door each weekend, begging for an end to the madness and I came to love it. These days it is quite rare that I drink more than 2 or 3 drinks in an entire month, as I have grown rather fond of living without the negative side affects of drinking.
Now to the Scotch. Obviously, I had a few dram while visiting Scotland after I had finished competing, but I had not yet acquired a taste for the water of life. A bartender commented that the one or two I did enjoy, were known to be “more of a ladies Scotch”. He was actually English, so I expected as much from a wanker. Over the next couple of years, I had the odd dram here and there; mostly Glenlivet or another volatile concoction known as a Rusty Nail (Scotch and Drambuie), but still had not yet tipped my hat to becoming a formal Scotch drinker. It wasn’t until I had attended my first Scotch tasting, a charity event to support Rogers House, that I formally acquired the palette for the Drink.
Now, I am by no means a connoisseur of Scotch, but I am learning. I enjoy the smooth contrast of sweet, smokey, fruity notes and the complexities of taste that Scotch offers. I have tried Scotch from many of the regions in Scotland and my current favorites are distilled in the Speyside region known for it’s smokey peat flavors. (Peat is burned to dry the malted barley used to make Scotch, giving it a rich smokey flavor.) I certainly favor single malts, but have tried some blends that are nice. I take my Scotch with a bit of ice, which will spark a debate among some purists, but we will leave that for another post. And for those wondering about my current favorite, its Laphroaig Quarter Cask.
* Added bonus to Scotch:
- Decent Scotch is expensive so you don’t attack it like it owes you money, you enjoy it. You also make it last, also ensuring you are ready to go the next morning without having to renegotiate the terms and conditions you have made on your soul.
- Drank unmixed, you enjoy less trips to the toilet. That’s more like a triple bonus. Less trips to the bathroom also mean you get a better nights sleep.
- Lastly, drinking Scotch enriches your life and makes you at the least, to appear to be sophisticated. I often take calls from famous people, heads of state, etc. Aye, I shpeak to Sean Connery on a regular basis.