[lit-ideas] Re: Whisky a la...

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 20:34:49 -0700

Finally finished the theses at a late hour yesterday and thought to myself, "Self, you may already have earned--my self has been reading junk mail as well as theses--you may already have earned a drop of the Macallan ten year old, cask strength." So I hie'd me over to where the bottles are kept and found there was but a dribble in that particular one. Goodness how evaporation takes its toll. And so I thought to myself, "Self, are you in a daring mood?" And you know I think I was, because no sooner was the question asked than I had decided to try the solution which proffered, well, itself... which was to mix in a little bit of the Macallan twelve year old. I know, I know, blasphemy for the pure of heart, but that's what I did. And then to compound my sin, I went and got two ice cubes from the freezer.


Now I know what people say about single malts and ice but my experience is that for a patient man--and I can be that man--ice is not the awful thing it's made out to be. You see in the right climate ice can be made to melt--I know Scots will find this hard to believe, what with the granite walls and wind whistling off the North Sea--but it's true, and so if you wait patiently, with ice in whisky you can end up with the same effect as dipping a little water from the burn.

I took the first sip of the mix and realized that there's always a price to pay for innovation; it tasted awful. I took a second sip and wondered what I had done wrong. I'd worked long and hard and usually that makes whisky taste very good. Perhaps there had been some earlier hint of sin that was getting in the way of the true flavor? Maybe I had unintentionally trodden on someone's toes or allowed my grass to grow too long. I realized I hadn't said anything complimentary about eighteenth century or nineteenth century Scottish thinkers and artists in a while. Or maybe it was that poem I sent two weeks ago? Something was not right.

Disappointed, I went to bed, worked all day, came home and started to cook. I reached into the freezer for something and suddenly looked more closely at the ice tray. The ice was yellow. The tupperware container of chicken stock I'd made a week ago had spilled.

I can save you some research. The flavor of the Macallan--twelve or ten year old, cask or regular strength--does not go well with chicken stock.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon
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