Whisky Magazine Issue 23
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Dave Broom gets a round. Kind of
People don't like whisky. Cue the sound of jaws dropping around Whisky Mag's readership, but allow me to repeat. People don't like whisky. Lots of people in fact. When it comes to spirits they'd rather drink vodka. Why? Because it mixes easily, is an inoffensive, middle-of-the-road hit of liquor which (with a few notable exceptions), doesn't tax the tastebuds or the brain. Vodka, if you like, is Travis and Bon Jovi. Whisky on the other hand is like Skip James or Ornette Coleman. It's different, awkward. It would like you to love it, but ultimately you have to make the first effort, meet it more than half way.
Most people can't be bothered to make that effort. When they listen to Skip James they can't understand his twisted, bitter brilliance. They listen to Ornette and hear noise, not layers of complexity. But it is the ability to rise above the mundane that makes whisky such an inspiring, intriguing alcohol. You can have great whisky moments, but I can't say I've ever had a gin ephipany, or a vodka awakening.
Whisky percolates its way into your consciousness, becomes part of the event. When you taste the same whisky again, those memories return. You might expect my great whisky moments to centre around the first taste of something grand and rare, but for me that instant of perfection comes when the drink has given an extra edge to the experience is inextricably linked to it, when the dram becomes the moment.
Great Whisky Moment No1: my first proper drink came in a tent ha...