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Issue 23 - The pipes are calling

Whisky Magazine Issue 23
June 2002


This article is 15 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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The pipes are calling

Michael Jackson gets away from it all

Are you an alcoholic?” asked Conan O'Brien on his late-night talk show. “That's not a very welcoming question,” I observed. “It's just that you seem to drink all day,” he countered. Not exactly Wilde, but O'Brien packs a punchy wit. He once produced and co-wrote The Simpsons.

No, I'm not an alcoholic. I won't even joke about that affliction. Perhaps I waive one addiction in favour of another. I am a workaholic. “Addictive personality,” explains Freckles, the psychotherapist in my life.

Being a workaholic, I find vacations very stressful. Fight or flight? I flee, and hide in midtown Manhattan. This is where I go for quiet time. Freckles knows where to find me: “West 44th Street, between 5th and 6th.” A request like that makes sense to a New York cabbie. He may have arrived on the same plane as you. It is pointless saying, without avenues and cross-street, ‘Algonquin', however famous that hotel is.

Dorothy Parker spent her most extravagant days of whisky and wit here. Today, the rooms are named after Parker's contemporaries. The odd literatum may stop for a drink, but the wit is not cutting edge. Never mind. I do not come here to be sharpened. I come for unfussy comfort.

I begin the soothing process by having a Tallulah. This is Knob Creek Bourbon, with a dash of Averna bitters, served like a Martini. A good pre-dinner drink. The dinner is no gastronomic event, but the Algonquin has cabaret.

This week, instead of the late Tallulah Bankhead, we have Da...

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