Yes, this is an odd juxtaposition to my last post, but that’s one of the things about blogging – there’s a fair amount of stream of consciousness that goes into it. With that said, the bourbon to scotch thought was triggered by the visit from some friends last weekend and my husband’s birthday this past weekend.
My husband and I are both from different parts of the deep South, and therefore almost by definition, both bourbon drinkers notwithstanding my very strict Southern Baptist upbringing. Bourbon and Coke or bourbon and Seven were what you drank as “the hard stuff” until such time as you moved to bourbon on the rocks or with water. Yes, there were Scotch drinkers, but they were a distinct minority. Of course I added rum, gin, etc., along the way, but when it came to whiskey, my only change was when I could afford a better quality bourbon.
The change for my husband occured during our trip to Scotland, a lovely excursion where we made our way up into the Highlands. We were stationed in Italy at the time and it was school spring break. Our route did include looking for Nessie and if you are ever going to try scotch this would seem to be the place. It took my husband about two sips of a peaty single malt to win him over. I tried, I did, but it wasn’t there for me. As we moved through the region, he would try a local favorite each night and determined that the really smoky (peaty) taste was what he enjoyed. Even though he still appreciated a good bourbon, you could tell that he had made the transition. Not blended scotch, mind you, and not a single malt with a sweet undertone. Single malt scotch was not yet trendy in the U.S., although it always carried a higher price than did the blended variety. My husband is not an extravagent guy about many things, so this became one of his few real indulgences. The upside to an increase in the popularity of single malt scotch has been greater availability, and thus when we go to a liquor store with a large selection of sinlge malt, I simply move away to let my husband spend as much time as he wants reading the labels, and he has added a few extras to his initial two favorites.
And yes, one of these days, we will return to Scotland for the prime purpose of going along the “Whiskey Trail”.