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Issue 3 - A sane man in a mad world

Whisky Magazine Issue 3
May 1999


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A sane man in a mad world

Irish whiskey is an aesthetic discipline, says Kevin Pilley so get a grip

Wise man that he was, JB Priestley knew that ‘Man, the creature who knows he must die, who has dreams larger than his destiny, which is for ever working a confidence trick on him, needs an ally.' His was tobacco. Mine happens to be Irish whiskey.

Confront the Irish whisky lover with Nature and he must commune with it. A world seemingly without values twinkles and hums after a Midleton's Rare slides down the oesophagus; life becomes miraculous and everything picturesque. With a nippie sweetie in his hand, a decanter of Crested Ten by his side, a hipflask of Black Bush in his pocket and a gill of Power's already in his bloodstream, the Irish whiskey devotee feels that he has life taped; he is envied as well as enviable; a sane man in a mad world. Lifting an Irish to his lips, the corners of his mouth turn up into a smile of rapture, his eyelids become leaden and a gorgeous mellowness shoots down his ganglia. Whiskey is his boon companion and his source of poise.

Mastering the fine art of whiskey with an ‘e' requires great dedication and long hours of diligent study, often without supervision. The palate must be educated and re-educated, the nostrils fine-tuned. The road to expertise is an arduous one. Irish whiskey is an aesthetic discipline. It is a highly specialised art form. Certain rudiments must be respected. Fundamentals must not be ignored.

The first essential, neglected by many and a key prerequisite to accomplished tippling, is a sound grip and a solid stance. ...

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