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A Fine Spirit

I like whiskey, and am willing to pay up for an exceptional bottle. One thing I've noticed when it comes to liquor, though, is that some people equate cost with excellence. In my experience, this is not always true. For one thing, "good" is a subjective term. We are all individuals, and what may taste good to me, may not to you.

Part of the enjoyment of having an adult beverage is the experience that one builds around the occasion. I find conversation with persons I respect adds to the atmosphere of a tumbler of whiskey. A decent cigar is also a welcome addition. I have had wonderful talks about philosophy, art and music, politics, even religion, over a drink. I think the thing to remember about the art of conversation is to respect the individual you are talking to, and to be open-minded.

But back to whiskey's merits... Why is it that some very accessible spirits are looked down on because they are not expensive? Gibson's 12 Year whiskey is, I find, easier on my palette than an expensive bottle of Wiser's Extra Old, and is about half the price. Another example would be Ballantine's blended scotch versus a bottle of Glenfiddich single malt. Glenfiddich is nice, don't get me wrong, but a glass of Ballantine's, over rocks on a winter night feels like just the thing to warm me up, without being pretentious. I hear arguments about the right drink for the occasion, and that is an argument I cannot deny. One would probably not want to drink Glenfiddich all the time, lest one become jaded.

There are a great many things to appreciate about a fine spirit, from the aroma, to the colour, to the various notes, even the aftertaste and the pleasant burn as the whiskey goes down the gullet. But for me, there is more to a drink than just the drink itself. It is the experience and atmosphere of the evening, as a whole, that I appreciate. Here is to fine friends, conversation, and good whiskey.

Joshua Wiebe

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