Whiskey is not Whisky

I went to a Scotch tasting event in Ann Arbor yesterday. My friend is a connoisseur of wine and Scotch, and I was excited by his invitation. There is a world of flavors that I know nothing about, and I thought this would begin my journey.

My first lesson is that Scotch Whisky does not have an “e”. Everything else, like Jack Daniels, is Whiskey.

Vendors set up tables along the walls and displayed various bottles. For our admission, we were given a sack full of twenty polished stones, and we profferred one polished stone for a taste. Some of the vendors were more generous than others, but whatever they gave was plenty—I could not drink all of my polished stones anyway.

The names of the various Scotch Whiskys were unpronounceable. My friend is a scotsman, and he rattled them off like a native. I tried to match his brogue at first, but gave up quickly. I would just point to the bottle hold out my glass, and offer a stone.

I have tried Scotch in the past, and didn’t like it. This event did not change that, but I did appreciate many of them. I could almost imagine enjoying them. However, I probably won’t.

The highlight of the evening was a toss-up between the two “Jack Daniels” girls and the handsome woman serving absinthe.

The Jack Daniels girls were young ladies in very high heels, very short skirts, and tight T-shirts emblazoned with the Jack label. They stood talking to each other the entire evening near the Jack Daniels vendor, and occasionally got themselves some food from the buffet. The event was dominated by men, and I’m sure these two were the highlight for many others. It was almost cruel, in fact, because the men there were mostly nerdy, clumsy looking middle-aged guys (like myself) that were more interested in getting their money’s worth out of the booze and the buffet than making time with the young ladies. I think they could have been there naked and had no more, and no less, effect on the men. I may suggest that for next year.

Absinthe is a foul drink, notorious for destroying the liver and driving people insane. So I had some. If it was good enough for Hemingway, then it’s good enough for me. It was incredibly like black licorice, and had no kick to it at all, until this morning. I woke up with a headache, but wasn’t otherwise bothered with a hangover. I got up and moved around a bit, and realized I had to vomit. What came up was a green glob of bile that I can only think was that absinthe sitting in my stomach all night, waiting to annoy me.