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Friday Favorite – Scotch

johnnie walker black green goldA quick confession: since getting back from Halifax this week, I’ve been suffering with some sort of inner ear difficulty. The result isn’t quite vertigo –– the room isn’t spinning, I’m not nauseated –– but I do feel… unstable. Put it this way: when I was aboard Sackville last week, the little corvette had a tendency to pitch slightly with the gentle waves in the harbor. I can still feel those gentle pitches now, as if I was still on the ship.

Perhaps I just wish I was.

I’ve spent the last few days trying to regain my land-legs, employing various over-the-counter pills, being sure to stay hydrated, and catching some extra sleep… but all to no avail. That in mind, I last night decided to turn to the curative medicine that can, in moderation, seemingly cure anything.


Now, I’m not much of a drinker –– just the opposite, really. To see me partaking in beer is a very rare thing, and I only do it in special social situations. Other types of alcohol are shut out entirely; no gin, or rum, or vodka, or moonshine, or whatever other booze you might name. Only scotch seems to agree with me, along with certain imitators (Charles Chiang once found a very fine Japanese scotch-derived whiskey, that couldn’t be called ‘scotch’ because of its origins).

johnnie walker
A family photo — my father’s Johnnie Walker collection before his most recent trip out of the country. It has a couple of new members now.

Perhaps this makes me sound like a snob… but not at all. To those who know and appreciate their scotches, I’m a bit of a peasant: I like mine blended, instead of single malt. Indeed, my go-to bottle is Johnnie Walker Black –– a classic twelve-year-old that, though not as pricey as some, never lets me down.

I enjoy my scotch neat, and I tend to pour myself a double… though I’ll never have more than two or three such helpings, because after that, I can start to detect some warping of my brain functions.

And that’s the thing: I can never bring myself to drink anything to the point of drunkenness. I attribute this to my experiences growing up, watching my grandfather gradually forget his entire life. A terrible fate (not at all connected to drink)… and one that, deep-down, still terrifies me. In possession of such fear, I simply can’t bring myself to voluntarily forgo remembering anything –– just in case, some day, I discover I need every scrap of memory I can find.

So, rather strangely, I drink scotch because I enjoy it… and because it seems to do a good job fighting minor maladies. For instance, a drink of Johnnie Walker’s new Explorer’s Club Collection Gold Route put my inner ears right… Or maybe it just started my brain sloshing around at a matching pace, so I didn’t notice anymore. Hm.

Either way, it was thoroughly enjoyable, and I heartily recommend scotch to anyone who can safely indulge in the odd drink –– and who can do so responsibly. And for those looking for a bit of history, here’s a fine explanation of Johnnie Walker’s past: