“Sir, would you like a nice Scotch with your smoke?”, the fine barkeep asked me as I clipped the end of my cigar.
“Say, that sounds just perfect. What kind of Speyside do you have?” But then I sat back for a moment and thought that maybe a bourbon would do quite nicely. Then again, there are some really nice Ryes coming out lately. But you know, they do carry some awesome Canadian whiskies here. Oooo… what about Irish, I bet they have some smooth Irish.
What just happened transpires almost every time I visit a cigar bar. I’ll have a wonderful stogie picked out like a Perdomo 20th Anniversary Habano or maybe an Alec Bradley Nica Puro, and then my love for whiskey takes over. I become a blithering idiot because I don’t know what I want because I want it all. I hate that, but then again, I love it all the same. Yeah, weird, I know.
A good cigar paired with a special whiskey is simply magical. And it doesn’t really matter what kind of whiskey you prefer. A good Bourbon is sweet and divine. And while it’s got to be made in the States, 95% of it is produced in good old Kentucky. Then there’s Rye, again, US made from at least 51% Rye grain. Oh-so delicious Canadian whiskey is a favorite of many, and of course, there’s the luck of the Irish (the oldest whiskey in the world) with unmalted barley that’s matured for 3 full years. Hell, even Japan is making some amazing brown liquor and is the fastest growing in the global market.
And of course there’s Scotch, which can get a little crazy because there’s 5 regions of Scotland that make completely different whiskies: Speyside, Islay, the Lowlands, the Highlands, Cambletown. Of course, there’s two different types of Scotch whiskey to choose from – blended or single malt. And while there are some wonderful blended scotches in this world, I know a lot of folk who would rather experience a slow and agonizing death than drink anything other than single malt.
So, the question some may have is simple: What exactly is whiskey? Liquorama’s blog says that “Whiskey is defined as an alcoholic beverage distilled from grain and aged in wood barrels. There must be no added flavoring for a whiskey to be a whiskey; all the flavor must come from the barrel the whiskey is aged in.” It’s made from a grain mash which is simply a mixture of grain and water. Different grains like corn, rye, wheat and barley are used to produce different whiskies, which is basically aged in charred white oak casks.
Now, while this tantalizing brown happiness originated in the 1500’s, it was the Old Bushmills Distillery located in Northern Ireland that was the first ever to attain a license to distill Irish whiskey (in 1608), making it today the world’s oldest whiskey distillery. American made whiskey originated during the late 1700’s during the American Revolution and was even utilized as currency back in the day.
Hey, this was a lot of serious info on that brown liquid that we enjoy so damned much. You know what, I think I’m going to cut, light, puff, pour and sip. What do you say, care to join me in this most awesome ritual of happiness? Then pull up a chair and relax with me for a while. We’ve got a long evening ahead of us, mainly because I don’t know what kind of whiskey I should pour, and it might take a while just to figure that out. And last but not least, thank you Lord for shining your golden-brown love down upon us.
That’s right, we’re giving away 3 awesome prizes to 3 different winners from the wonderful people at Alec Bradley. We’ve got a Megaburner lighter ($79.95 value), a Firkin barrel-shaped Humidor ($74.95 value), and a Badge Ashtray ($79.95 value). It’s running ‘til the end of the month and all you’ve got to do is put you email address in the form and you are officially in the running!