Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quick trip to Scotland

To take one, go to the liquor store, hit the whisky (not the American whiskeys) aisle and find a bottle of Laphroaig. It's my newest favorite beverage ever, recommended highly by Scottish friend Graeme (also bought a bottle of Talisker on his list, but we haven't tried it yet). G, you're right, it is peaty. I felt like I was licking the soil of Scotland on the first sip, and the next and the next - smoke and fog and wet leaves and earth, with the haunting sound of bagpipes in the background (and beautiful scenes from Braveheart, since that's all my very American mind could pull together at that moment). Our little Oklahoma City duplex had disappeared, and I was sitting in some Scottish cottage, overlooking moors or bogs or peaty swamps. And the aftertaste - I swear I tasted peanut butter, although John thought I was crazy.

It's the real stuff, this whisky with no 'e'. The second glass, we did it the right way, with only a little cool water (instead of two ice cubes like our American brews), and it was a different beverage altogether. Even more flavorful. Now we can save up for the really old stuff - I think the bottle that I purchased was only aged ten years.

Thanks again, Graeme.

And to completely change the subject, we watched Aliens tonight - in my opinion, one of the best SF movies I've ever seen, and it was made in 1986. What I most appreciated was the lack of excessive explanation about anything. There was no need to show and tell what was happening - Cameron just showed it, especially at the end by having Sigourney Weaver back carefully out of the room with the eggs, point the flame gun up in the air and show the aliens that she could burn their eggs, and they retreated. We never once had to hear her inner or outer narrative; the audience was assumed to have brains, and the ability to put two and two together, and it was absolutely fantastic. I've seen a decent number of movies in the last year and 99.9% of them were so saturated with dialogue and sound that the experience was negatively overstimulating, no matter what the genre.

And now I have the creepy shrill alien screams in my head.


Graeme Robertson said...

I'm so glad you liked the Laphroaig! And you qualify as a real whisky drinker now, for sure. ;) I drank the last of mine on Saturday, too. It does taste like soil (but in a good way, although people may look askance at us for saying so). And yes, very smoky. Although we'll have to introduce you to some more authentic scenes than those from Braveheart, heh. But I get what you mean! Even for us, drinking whisky is a very 'Scottish' thing to do. And we can close our eyes and think wistfully of cottages overlooking moors, with Highland peaks all around. I'm in the city centre, and no closer to that idyllic vision than you are.

Hope you like the Talisker, too. It's from Skye, and has a more briny taste -- you can almost taste the sea in it, I think. It's not as earthy or smoky as the South Islay malts.

And if you get some of the really old stuff, I'll be jealous. It's very rare that I can afford to drink such luxury. ^_^

Slàinte mhòr, as we Jacobites would say.

Erin Stocks said...


Oh, now I can't wait to try the Talisker.

Anonymous said...

Erin, drinking whisky! I have to interject and take the opposite side of the country's favourite beverage. I am a Speyside Malt man, and find the Islays to be ( can I put this delicately...) difficult to drink. If I were to put it indelicately then I'd say that they taste like antiseptic, but that would rude... On my shelf currently I have a 12 year old Aberlour which is wonderful stuff, and a 10 year old Tomintoul, and a 10 year old Edradour, but if I had the money then a 15 year old MacAllan would send me to heaven. If you ever come to Edinburgh, then the Malt Whisky Society is the place to go, where they have a menu book for their cask strength malts, and more varieties to try than you can possibly imagine...

Erin Stocks said...

Ilan, do you and Graeme know each other? You should start talking, asap.

Thank you for the suggestions! I adored the Laphroiag, so now I must try the ones you recommend, too. They're going on my purchase-soon list.