Today is World Whisky Day, which is an excellent excuse to sip drop or two.
A Hot Toddy, by the way, is hot whisky with honey in it — a purely medicinal version of the liquor, I’m assured!
Whisky was invented by the Scots, and if it is produced in Scotland, it becomes scotch. There are some fine, fine scotches out there. My sons are particular about Johnny Walker Blue — and each bottle is so expensive, it comes with its own serial number. I’m not a scotch drinker — or any sort of drinker, actually. I’m allergic to alcohol. But I’m assured that Johnny Walker Blue is a lovely drop indeed.
I’ve even slid that brand of scotch into books here and there. Most recently, it appeared in a scene in Freedom Fighters.
Other scotch drinkers in my family prefer Glenfiddich, a scotch made in the Scottish Highlands, a tad north-east of Inverness. Unlike Johnny Walker Blue, it is a single malt scotch.
I’ve heard scotch drinkers rage at each other for hours over what is better: A blended malt or a single malt scotch. No one argues the quality of Johnny Walker Blue, which is a blend. But others say pure single malt is better.
Maybe you can enlighten me? Add a comment if you can!
There is a far less well-known brand out there, one I “adopted” for one of my characters in the Blood Stone series. In Blood Stone, the second book of the series, one of the trio of main characters is Callum Micheil Garret, a Bruce clan highlander, who has reason to dive into the deep end of his favourite brand of scotch. (He’s the red head on the cover to the right. Mmmm…)
The only problem with that? Garrett is a vampire. Drinking has profound physical effects upon the vampires in my story worlds and Garrett pays the price.
The next morning, his friends quiz him:
“I’m more interested in knowing why you wasted a bottle of 40 year old Fettercairn single malt in the first place,” Nial said.
“How did you know—” Garrett made himself stop. “My local distillery. Of course you’d guess.”
Nial raised a brow. “How long have you had the bottle with you?”
“It was a gift from a business associate. Years ago. He knew my ‘family’ were from Kincardineshire, descendants of the Bruces.”
“Did the bottle get him the deal?”
“No, but it got him some favours, later on.” Garrett managed a smile despite the pounding in his head. “It was a step beyond the usual Glenfiddich piss.”
“Spoken like a true Scottish clansman,” Sebastian said.
Fettercairn is an actual distillery, in the heart of Bruce country in Scotland. It is such a small distillery, it doesn’t have an official website. Two years ago, it sold out of all its 40 year old single malt label, although I believe you can still acquire bottles via private sales. I imagine the price has climbed, somewhat. 🙂
You can get 30 year old bottles, if you’re an astute buyer, but they’re becoming rare, too.
This is the brand that Garrett prefers, in Blood Stone.
Johnny Walker Blue also cracks a mention, earlier in the book. 🙂
Do you have a favourite brand? Share in comments, below.
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