The Daily Demarche
Thursday, March 03, 2005
And Now For Something Completely Different... Scotch!
Frequent readers of the Daily Demarche (all two of you) may be surprised to know that when it comes to alcohol, I am no one trick pony. Although I’ve outgrown any zest for intoxication, I do enjoy a good drink from time to time. Man can not subsist on appletinis alone, after all. Fortunately for us, Zeus, in his infinite wisdom, created Scotch. I’ve been told that in the original tongue of the craggy highlands the word for whiskey translates to “water of life.” Perhaps an astute reader can verify this. Those highlanders may wear skirts, but they sure have their priorities right in every other area (although I’m not to sure about that whole dwarf-tossing thing).

Herewith, my three favorite Scotches. Readers are, naturally, invited to share their own favorite brands.

The Macallan: This one will always be memorable for me because it is what I had on the day I took (and passed) the Foreign Service Oral Exam (after the exam, if you’re wondering). I was staying with a friend who lived in the city where the exam was held, and we had agreed that if I passed, I would buy Scotch (he had never had any). If I didn’t he would buy. I was happy to buy, and even happier to note that he didn’t really have the taste for Scotch, so I finished his. Good times indeed.

Laphroaig: This one is even more fun to drink than it is to say out loud. I used to live in a country where most spirits were overpriced and very hard to come by. Whenever I went back to the US, I would invest in a high quality liquor and bring it back. I bought an old bottle of Laphroaig (40 year old, if I recall correctly) and savored every drop of it for months. The bottle of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel that I brought didn’t fare so well - house guests drank most of it before I had a chance to taste it!

The Balvenie: This was recommended to me by a Scot, so I figured he knew what he was talking about. Thankfully, he did know what he was talking about. Describing how a Scotch tastes is not easy to do, but it is easy to sound unbelievably pretentious trying to do so, so I won’t go there (the pinstripes, monocle and cigarette-holder up the pretension factor too much already). I’ll just say that it is tasty.

All in all, there are many good Scotches (and also a number of good Irish whiskeys) out there. Naturally, determining the best one is an entirely subjective matter. The only truism in this matter that I can offer is that best Scotch is invariably the one that you drink while having a good conversation in the company of good friends.

That’s the end of this post. No more here!

Rest in Peace Rinus Michels.

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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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