If you haven’t learned to appreciate Scotch, particularly the Islay Scotches, I don’t know what to tell you, but you really can’t call yourself a whisky lover.
That would be like saying you love art, but you really don’t like oil paintings.
Look, here’s the deal. No one has bigger balls than the distillers from the Islay region of Scotland. No one packs more unique flavors into a whisky than these guys. And they don’t give a fuck what you think. Their whisky will be strong, heavy, and peaty; period. They use certain old bourbon casks; period. They dry their malt with peat fire; period.
Like it, hate it, baffled by it, whatever. No one brings personality to whisky like the Scots. LaPhroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain; they are whisky royalty. They just are. Period. Some things cannot be denied.
-The Chinese have the oldest extant civilization.
-Greece is the cradle of Western thought.
-Hot dogs are our national food.
-And Scotch is the king of whisky.
Okay, enough ranting. Let me help you get started.
You say, “But I don’t like it.”
Like it? LIKE IT? The fuck does that even mean, like it?
Do you LIKE the pain of spicy Thai food when your mouth is screaming and sweat is breaking out on your forehead?
You like that shit? Is that the word you would use? Like?
Do you LIKE that firm handshake you got that hurt a little, and you saw that shit-eating grin on his face so you squeezed back harder, just to show him you’re not going to lay down.
Is that what liking means?
Do you LIKE the last five minutes of exercise when the pain reaches its apex and your focus narrows to the next step in front of you and the only thing you feel is how glorious it is to be kicking ass?
Fuck “like it.” You respect Scotch. You appreciate its depth, its craft, and its complexity. If need be you drink Islay Scotch until you LEARN to respect it.
And trust me on this. If you make that commitment, you will get there. Big old beefy Islay Scotches take a little work, but they will reward you and will be ever faithful thereafter.
Here it is. Bottom line. Do you want to drink whiskey with men and women who live large, pound the bar with their palms, roar their laughter, and give a shit about the things that really matter in this life?
Or do you want to just slide down the bar to your familiar Crown Royal over ice? Maybe put a little umbrella in it?
That was a rhetorical question. Because I know what your answer is. You love life and give a shit about what matters or you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Hell yes you care. Otherwise you’d be reading a fancy whiskey aficionado magazine, your snozz shoved deep into a tulip glass, sniffing like Donald Trump at a debate and talking about notes of sea mist and roasted albatross.
Haven’t tried an Islay yet? There is no shame in being a beginner. Just muscle up to the bar, tell the barkeep to pour that LaPhroaig, and let’s get this done.