Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

W is for Whisky

You may question whether whisky is a magic word. And that means you don’t drink Scotch.

As for the spelling—no less a source of propriety than the NYTimes makes the difference between whisky (produced in Canada, Scotland, Japan) and whiskey (produced everywhere else.)  Whisky, the word, comes from Gaelic uisge beatha meaning water of life. By law, it has to be aged at least three years to be called Scotch.

A quick education—Scotchology 101.

A single malt is whisky produced in one distillery. A blend is–well, you’re adults–It’s a blend.  Blends can be good—Johnny Walker Black contains the products of several Highland distilleries and is reasonably priced.  Blends can be much cheaper to buy than single malts and will do in a pinch.  Single malts, however, are . . .magic.

You don’t drink single malt Scotch to get drunk. For one thing, it’s too expensive.  For another, single malts are the product of a lengthy process and knocking back a shot is an anticlimactic end. And yet another reason is because Scotch has a long and venerable history.  Each sip is a new page in a delicious novel begun centuries ago. Savor it; experience it; incorporate each taste into your soul.

Like magic, single malts should be enjoyed by mature and thoughtful people. This is why we hide the good Scotch from those who would not appreciate it.

Single malts vary in taste by individual distilleries and region.  From the map, you can see the basic regions. Each one produces a distinctly flavorful beverage, but for me the Islays are the best.  Specifically,  Laphroaig—with Ardbeg right beside it—cannot be beaten. Peaty smoke, iodine, and pepper—yummy. To date, all the main characters in my books agree with me.

Map retrieved 3/19/2014 from
Map retrieved 3/19/2014 from

Have a favorite Scotch?  Leave me a note–I haven’t tasted them all.  It’s an expensive habit.  If you want to contribute, take a look at my website at and considering buying a copy of my latest book Just Like Gravity.

Cover by Oghma Creative Media
Cover by Oghma Creative Media