Learning About Whiskey

I grew up reading books. A lot of books. A lot of reading. Much of my overall image of the world was shaped by that reading. I read a lot of British manor house murder mysteries. It seemed folks were always having a glass of whiskey before the fire or in the reading room. A ‘splash’ here and a ‘nip’ there. Somehow it always seemed so grown-up, so elegant, so sophisticated.whiskey and fire I couldn’t wait to be an adult, having my own splash of whiskey whilst the friends and family gathered round.

Unfortunately for me, it turned out I did not LIKE whiskey or brandy. *grin* Of course my first exposures to those beverages was when my mother attempted to help me alleviate the infamous cramps. It was harsh and it was sweet and although I DID like the warm after-glow, getting there was not worth it. I also tried it at college. Or rather, over-tried it my freshman year holiday party. There are a lot of unpleasant associations there as well. All in all, I have to say that although I still wanted that whole book image of my amber whiskey in a glass, I never tasted anything that lived up to fantasy.

Flash forward a few decades to my son’s graduation (MS in Game Design). The 3 of us went to dinner at The Whiskey, a restaurant that came up on our search for good burgers. It certainly had delicious burgers but it also specialized in whiskey. You could get whiskey flights to test different brands. There was Rye, Bourbon, Irish, Scotch and various limited release whiskies. IMG_9885My husband was all excited but neither my son or I were much interested. My husband INSISTED that we both try one of his flights. I rolled my eyes but obliged. It was delicious. Warm. Smooth. Flavorful. NO burning sensation. That beautiful afterglow. It was Whistle Pig rye. I don’t remember which barrel it was, but oh my – what I remember was LIKING whiskey. We had a wonderful dinner there. The owner/chef came over and chatted with us for awhile. It is a wonderful restaurant – the atmosphere was warm and comfortable, the food was delicious and the hospitality of both the owner and the wait staff was excellent. What a shame my son no longer lives in Orlando. 😦

Now I knew I liked expensive rye whiskey, but I did nothing about it. I like wine and for my evening glass of relaxation, I had wine. Oban 14 at the bar TarrytownI still had the image, however, of having my splash before the fire, or with friends. I met a friend for dinner after work last April. It was rainy, raw and wretched and I was aggravated about something. I got to the restaurant first so I went up to the bar. I felt I needed to do SOMETHING dramatic (well, dramatic for me). I asked if they had Whistle Pig. Nope. Any 15-year old whiskey? Nope. But they did have a 14-year old Oban. I said that sounds fine and yes it was. 🙂
I texted a picture of my drink to my nephew-in-law to show him I’d ‘grown up’ (He is the wine manager of a very large and well-known liquor store in the Delaware/Maryland area).

My niece and nephew-i-l went to Japan this past spring. They bought us back a bottle of whiskey. IMG_9884I have no idea what it says on the bottle, but you can see by this picture that it has been enjoyed since June. If my nephew picked it out, you know it will be good. Last night I decided it was my turn to try. I’d done errands and chores during the day, my husband was cooking up an Israeli style braised short ribs (in the-big-red-pot!) and I thought it was time to relax. I poured my dram. It was very very tasty. I liked it! I definitely can’t do this often, but I can see it for a cold wintery day indulgence. Next time – I have a 12-year old Balvenie to try! Now I need someone to write me into a book. 🙂