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First encounter with Whisky

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Kalekas started a discussion

I was sixteen, and keen to impress my fellow grouse-beaters (a holiday job in Aberfeldy, with the added frisson of getting your hair parted by a shotgun blast from the Earl of Arran). One night, it may indeed have been my sixteenth birthday, I bought a half bottle of Famous Grouse to share with my pals (I was tall enough to pass for eighteen, or the shop keepers were cynical enough to sell booze to the under-aged).

The beaters' cottage was a couple of miles outside the town of Aberfeldy, and the road into town took me past the eponymous distillery. The smell of sour whisky mash should have been a warning, but no, with the folly of youth, I carried on walking into my very own "Lost Night Out" - not as evocative as a "Lost Weekend", but you have to start somewhere.

You can guess the rest: no-one wanted to share my firewater so I did my best to drink it all by myself, laughing at them for their hide-bound, beer-drinking, easy-option, cop-out habits.

... I've tried to piece that evening together for the last 40 years. I remember standing on a table, and offering to fight anyone in the pub (thank God for the Teuchtar's easy going temparament, no-one took up the gauntlet). My next memory is face down on the bonnet of a car, spewing my guts out (I still feel sorry for the poor car owner who discovered his motor had been pebble-dashed, probably by the same young fool who had been offering to fight him, not half an hour before).

The trip back to the cottage is a blank. Nothing. Nada. Try as I might, all memory of a two mile trip back on foot was perhaps mercifully erased from my memory. However, I do remember being dragged upstairs to bed; mainly because my head bounced off each wooden stair-step. My friends must have been so pissed-off with me that they dragged me backwards up the stairs. In the morning, and again you've already guessed, I awoke surrounded by the drunkard's halo of congealing spew.

I swore I would never, NEVER touch whisky again, but 30 years' later at a friend's 40th birthday party in Scotland I thought "I wonder?", and had a glass or three of Macallan, which started a love affair with whisky.

To keep my promise made, 40 years ago and more, I will NEVER drink Famous Grouse again. Unless it's all I've got.

I'm glad I got that off my chest. Now, what are your stories of your first encounter with whisky?

9 years ago

2 replies

jeanluc replied

Ooh, going to have to dig deep on this one.

My first experience of whisk(e)y was probably Jack Daniels as a young teenager - I doubt I even knew what it was and it was almost certainly served with coke. Then the first neat whiskey I tried was Jameson, probably as a chaser, again in my teens.

My first experience with single malt whisky was Oban, which opened up a whole new world to me and I haven't looked back since.

9 years ago 0

markjedi1 replied

I'm afraid that my first encounter was - in hindsight - a shabby one. At the age of 16 I had my first Johnnie Walker Red Label, mixed with Coca Cola. I've come a long way since then.

9 years ago 0

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