I adore single malt Scotch whisky. The spirit’s vast range of aromas, flavors, and finishes fascinate me. Even standard expressions some distilleries bottle year after year, for example, a ten-year-old, are never the same. Factors such as weather, that barrel’s wood, and the cask’s location in the warehouse produce a different whisky from its predecessor. Scotch is always new, always changing.
My favorite part of Scotch has nothing to do with the alcohol, liquor, a buzz, or getting drunk. This divine spirit brings out conversation. Because this spirit is sipped–not slammed like cheap booze, its effect on folks is a joy to watch.
Some newcomers to Scotch, self-conscious of appearing ignorant beside those who know more, sip. As warmth spreads through their body and relaxation takes hold, they notice their neighbor. They compare notes. “I don’t like the peat smoke,” one says. The neighbor extends their snifter: “Try this one. It’s lightly peated,” or “Here, it’s not peated at all, and it’s finished in a port cask.” They swap glasses.
Before long, they’re discussing the latest books or solving the world’s problems like old friends. The world vanishes. The only things that matter are a dram of a beautiful whisky and the soul of another person.