Thursday, November 24, 2005

Electric Soup


It’s a bit presumptuous of me to devote a post to booze. With Herge Smith providing an excellent blow by blow bender account over at Angry Chimp, the indignities associated with the subject have been more or less covered.

I don’t drink whisky these days: actually, to be more precise, I don’t drink blended whisky. The common or garden blends are what you find upended on optics in bars and selling for a derisory £10 in supermarkets. Some of the better quality blends taste ok, but they are ultimately a debased product using a combination of malt and grain whisky. The lower the proportion of malt, the lower the quality of the whisky.

Whisky could only have been invented in Scotland. The combination of weeks of rain, hail, sleet and howling gales must have made the place pretty dispiriting before the advent of electric light. What better way could there possibly be to dispel the gloom than to invent an electric soup with enough volts to fell a bull elephant?

The Scottish highlander’s warrior reputation probably has its roots in whisky. The sight of a hairy arsed barbarian charging across the heather pissed up on scotch would have been enough to have Atilla the Hun cowering for mercy. Zulu warriors may have indulged in hallucinogens to get their pecker up, but they wouldn’t have stood a chance against Angus McSporran with a hip flask of scotch up his kilt.

The remarkable thing about blended scotch is that nobody under the age of forty drinks the stuff. A dram these days is usually vodka or spiced rum, whisky being regarded as a drink for old duffers with leather elbow patches. Most of the stuff gets exported overseas. This is a good thing, as Scotland is essentially exporting the roughest hangover known to humanity to those who know no better.

I drank a whole bottle of the stuff once and was confined to my bed for a full twenty four hours. It is the closest to a near death experience that I have encountered and one that I have no desire to repeat. Blended whisky leads to pissed belligerence, an atavistic desire to punch southerners, and probably the worst hangover imaginable. It doesn’t really have a lot going for it.

Single malt whisky is, however, a totally different matter. This Christmas I will imbibe a snifter of two of 18 year old MacCallan, swirling the elixir in my glass, and savouring every sip. I wouldn’t dream of getting drunk on the stuff. That would be sacrilege.

34 comments:

Sniffy said...

I too was laid out for two days after a heavy Scotch session in my first year at University. I too came close to death. The worrying thing was that I'd seemed perfectly functional and coherent for at least an hour when I'd actually blanked out. During this hour, I danced a tango apparently.

Malt whisky is divine stuff. Although I was never a puritan and often enjoyed a slurp of blended stuff too.

The worst hangover I ever suffered was with strong Italian brandy (Vecchia Romagnia, 20 years) - fucking evil stuff.

Herge Smith said...

Cheers to Garfer.

I actually have no stomach for the hard stuff, but am always in awe of those that can, like you, demonstrate a depth of knowledge and passion for something that makes me heave.

Excellent work my blogging chum.

suburban wonder said...

I don't enjoy whiskey, full stop, Scottish roots bedamned.

Tequila can be fun, though, 'specially when mixed with limes. MMmmmmmmm.

Tonight was a red wine night - I always drink too much when I'm around my sister-in-law, Christine. I'm off to drink a gallon of water and take a bottle of ibuprofen to stave off the hangover.

BigDov said...

It's a source of never-ending embarassment to my scottishness that I don't, and have never, like whisky. What's more, I can't see myself ever liking it.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Sometimes, I'm ashamed to be a cute wee highland boy.

Growing up where I did, surrounded by distilleries, I could smell the fucking stuff 24 hours a day, every day and it turned my stomach.

Saying that though, I did once drink a whole bottle with a friend of mine and can remember, about half way down the bottle thinking 'oh dear, I think I might be getting pished'. By the time we reached the end of the bottle - and for the only time ever in my life - I *think* I was sober.

I was probably just so pished that I *thought* I was sober. Still it was a surprising experience.

Next morning... Well we all know what happens next morning.

Rowan said...

I don't drink regular whiskey period since the instant I smell it, the automatic response is also the smell of vomit (and thereby making me feel ill). However, I love a really good rye, can't stand the cheap stuff. Never was one much for scotch.

Say, I had always wondered if scotch was made by the Scotch, but always felt too stupid too ask. Who made rye then?

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, absolutely no hard stuff for this girl (well, I used to drink G&Ts but that was eons ago). Two drinks and I'm done. Vile. I often wonder what's going on with people's taste buds to actually sit and enjoy something like that?

PO

Herge Smith said...

Quick - do an orbit on Blair! You've got some weird mystical mojo going on there!

S.I.D. said...

What are the legs like on that single garfer?

Merkin said...

Ah, but Garfer. As an Oirishman, are you a whisky man or a whiskey man?

Herge Smith said...

Where have you gone to now man?

Juggling Mother said...

You know, whiskey was invented in China.

Well stephen Fry said so on QI & he knows everything:-)

surly girl said...

gaaaaaarfer......where aaaaaaare you???

where does he go when he disappears? is it a full moon? is he killing ladies for pleasure, and for the coloured lights and music in his head that god rewards him with?

Aginoth said...

ummm Whiskey was first made by the Chinese you know?

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Are you laying on a park bench pissed or something?

Garfer darling, the whole point of you getting broadband is so that you can spend much more time online with your bloggy chums!

Now sober up and get back here - We want to hear tales of how broadband has changed your life!

*wonders of he's busy catching up on all the porn he's been unable to access until now*

Merkin said...

Oh no - he's found Buckfast Dessert Wine - the downfall of every Scotsman and now Ulstermen too....

May his liver RIP...

funny thing said...

I've got a long way to go until I reach 40... and whisky is my poison. Love it. Single, obviously, is the bee's knees, but I'll settle for any old stuff.
Not an elbow patch in sight....

MHN for short said...

Oi! Where's the Garfer? You got guests up there in the frozen lands?

S.I.D. said...

The Tunnocks factory is offering locals extra work in their run up to the Christmas rush.

Where else would he be?

*considers giving them a miss this year*

Piggy and Tazzy said...

We've just bought a box of Tunnocks Teacakes (*vomits*) at Morrisons tonight.

Tazzy wants to push one up my arse and eat it out - all the while taking pics.

I might let him. After another couple of cans of adult pop.

*glugs excitedly*

Herge Smith said...

And there goes something else I can no longer bear to look at.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

I reckon, during some wild and drunken party game that he's got the bottle stuck up his arse.

Yes, that's it. Bottle up the arse and too scared to ask for help.

He could always lay on the pavement outside the house and let the kids roll marbles into the bottleneck.

pissoff said...

That would be great Piggy. Maybe I can book him for my daughter's third birthday!

pissoff said...

Oh, does he supply the marbles or should I buy a bag?

pissoff said...

AND.... where the hell are you garfer? Have you eaten too many Tunnocks Teacakes and gotten high cholesterol like our good friend Cold Earth?

spindleshanks said...

what are tunnocks teacakes? surly girl started me wondering..

Aginoth said...

hi garfer...can I get you to change the link to me in your sidebar/blogroll to http://aginoth.blogspot.com/

I had to delete my other blog (trapped in the body of a civil servant)...long story

thx

MHN for short said...

Miss ya garf. Tell those people to go home so you can blog.

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