Tag Archives: Scotch

A drink for the ages

Not that long ago, I was a Budweiser kinda guy. It wasn’t until Matthew and Jim started introducing me to IPA’s, Belgians, stouts, porters, etc. that I realized just how provincial my taste in beer had been. These days, the breadth of brews available to the average consumer is astounding. Beers are available at my local corner store from all over the country and, indeed, the world. It’s a far cry from the days when Milwaukee and St. Louis dominated the domestic market. Of course, the beheamoths are still standing, but micro- and craft-brewers are enjoying amazing success as the word spreads that beer is for the snobs, too.

As my tastes have developed, I’ve also started dabbling in single malt scotch and, to a lesser extent, sipping tequila. While beer is the new kid on the block when it comes to a respected alcoholic beverage, scotch has arguably been considered the pinnacle of spirits for generations. It’s easy to envision, while sipping on a deliciously peaty dram, the gentlemen of yore dressed to the nines, gathered in a dimly-lit smoking room enjoying a fine cigar and a snifter of scotch.

Part of my attraction to scotch, besides enjoying the complex layers of flavors, is that it is relatively affordable when compared to wine of similar vintage. I like the idea of drinking a glass of scotch that was distilled before I was born, knowing that it spent the past 2-3 decades undisturbed in an oak cask in a cool, dark, Scotish distillery. With each sip, not only am I immersed in a bouquet of flavors ranging from vanilla, toffee, marmalade, leather, peatsmoke, pineapple, cinnamon, and so on, but I also contemplate the events that occurred while that scotch lay dormant, waiting to fill my glass. I imagine what I was doing the day it was distilled (if, in fact, I was even alive!). I think about the places I’ve been, people I’ve met, and experiences I’ve had while my drink was aging, maturing, and becoming a singular masterpiece in a bottle. I suppose these thoughts appeal to my sentimental nature.

So to me, a glass of scotch is much more than a tasty beverage. It is a means of connecting to the past and to a far-off place that I may never visit, but of which I may enjoy a small part.