Monday, February 22, 2010

How I got started drinking scotch - By The Whisky Warrior

Let’s face it, Scotch is like Liver, Curling, or Haggis, you either love or hate it. For many of us it is an acquired taste that once acquired becomes a passion and a truly enjoyable part of life. I’m asking all of the scotch lovers out there to write and tell us your story of how you came to love scotch. Was it love at first sight or did it take a while to get to know each other? Here is my story to start things off.
It was 1972 and I was 21 years old and living in Gainesville Florida where I was working at a local plumbing company and my wife was just starting her registered nursing career at the Shands Hospital there. The plumber I worked with drank scotch and soda whenever we went out and I was still drinking Wild Turkey and Ginger ale. His name was Lee Gillette (no relation to the razor fortune, remember I said he was a plumber). We were having a drink and he was drinking J&B and soda and I was just finishing my second Wild Turkey of the evening when he said “let me buy you a scotch and soda!” I replied “hell no I ain't drinkin that cat piss no thank you!” He kept after me and mostly because I was making a cool $2.00 an hour back then I caved in and said ok. So there I was with my first scotch and soda which if memory serves was about ½ scotch and ½ soda. I drank it and as the last drops went down I nearly gagged. “God that’s awful! “ I yelled. He shocked the hell out of me by saying “ok now let me buy you another one.” “I said you have got to be kidding, what part of awful did you not understand?” “He said “trust me, just have one more.” After a bit of reluctance and pretty much total disbelief I acquiesced and allowed him to buy me my second scotch and soda. It was just about as awful as the first one. I still did not get it. Forcing the last of the second one down I said ok that’s it no more. Again Lee was insistent and well I had just finished 4 drinks so my ability to say no was much diminished at this point so yeah I caved and had yet a 3rd god awful drink ordered for me. Well somewhere in that 3rd scotch and soda my life was to take a new turn and things would never be the same again at least in my choice of booze. As I finished the last bit and said “ahhh”…I stopped in my tracks. Did I just say “ahhhhh?” What the hell, that last one was tasting really good. Lee just laughed and said “see I told you so!” I imagine somewhere over the bonnie heather covered fields of Scotland a thousand of God’s best angels started singing at that moment, another soul saved from mundane booze and another convert to uisge breatha.
I have been a scotch drinker ever since that night. After a few years I switched to scotch and water, then scotch on the rocks and finally I reached my true adulthood and began to drink my scotch with just the two ingredients; scotch and glass. I have graduated from J&B and Cutty Sark to Ballentines and Grants, to Macallan's and Glenmorangie. I don’t consider myself a scotch snob, I like several blends such as Famous Grouse, Pig Nose, Sheep Dip, and well the list is way too long, let’s just say I love scotch. Now it is your turn please tell us your story and if you have a friend that just can’t drink scotch try the three in a row method it worked for me.