Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fences and Windows*

Greetings, ribald readers of Whisky Break! blog. It's been sometime, but the occasion of the latest Whisky Break! was finally summoned by a core member, sired of Kentucky pastures, who hath borne a strained schedule of late. Our WB! setting was prescribed by the native, apparently because Kentucky is nothing but an astounding maze of fences. We thought to check other possible countrysides but were assured that, no, this was it.

And so it was that the WB! crowd, amidst all those bloody fences, had our collective Scotch blinkers removed, and were introduced the astonishingly lovely world of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, straight outta Kentucky. Woo hoo!

And what a yummy world it is, folks. With alcoholic fumigation starting things off with a sinus-clearing bang, a gorgeous colouring, the Woodford taste is sweet and delicious, if somewhat missing in mouthful. Though initially lacking any notable sternal heat, Whisky Break! relief set in with a late and low incineration, the bourbon proving itself subtly with a clever and deep lag burn. Touche´ Kentucky!

The palette was full this WB!, not only with the Woodford, but a Bushmills 10 continued to linger in the background to many's annoyance (my, my, we are getting spoiled and snotty), while the always welcome Yamazaki from bygone days was polished off amid a raucous and, dare this driveling scrivener suggest, rowdy festival of the end of that week.

And then onto the next, wherein the hypercloud of space-time, who knows what wonders await.

*With apologies to Naomi Klein.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fond Farewell

A bittersweet moment fell upon the Whisky Break! crowd of late, as a cheerful and cherished colleague, having just graduated, parted professional ways. We wished her the best of moving to new and exciting prospects. She will be missed, of course, but we have insisted upon at least occasional reappearances at Whisky Break! It's world reknown, you know. So, that was the bitter part. For us, at least.

And the sweet part? Well, it was really sweet. As in, shuuuweeeet!

There was no pall upon WB!'ers, as we wed the weakening week to a wiltingly yummy Highland Park 18, a gift to Whisky Break! from a fine and good ally; the kind of yummy that makes one pause, close ones eyes and imagine a realm of fecund possibility.

Yeah. Good stuff.

Egads, gentle readers, m'fears the Whisky Break! risks spoil in the heat of these luscious Highland Park beverages we've enjoyed of late.

Fear spoilage not! as the accompanying Aberlour proved good worth with a growl in throat and a fine, sporty flavour. Once the Highland was a burn of the past, the Aberlour shone her glow and all, once again, was good.

Cheers and good futures!

Perhaps some explanation of this week's WB! environment is in order, for surely it must perplex. Indeed, it may not be entirely clear just what is being celebrated -- by at least one obviously enthusiastic member of the the WB! clan.

That is a picture of the all the crap that currently encircles the planet earth, placed there by humans, purposefully and not. Scads of things, useful and not, occupying orbits described by multifarious parameter sets, most of which are LEO. Well, it seems that our esteemed, departing colleague was alerted this atrocious state of affairs by a recent news story.

So, there it is. That's the picture.

Turns out, it's the best background we've ever used: space junk. Go figure.

[Editor's note: one recognizes that the certain enthusiasm represented in the above photo might be verbally expressed as, "Woo hoo! I am outta here!!!" or possibly, "Woe hoe! Ik ben outtahier!!!"]

Bloemen Seizoen

We tried to set this in the Keukenhof, fresh photos of which were ripe for background in the wan days of tulip season. But, alas, the efforts were for naught. We wound up looking like purple vegetable people. So, we scrapped the project, simplexed the shot -- no marauding eee-lectronic flowers allowed! This humble scribbler was rather partial to the purpley-faced na'er-do-wells depicted thusly.

As this particular Whisky Break! was an impromptu follow-on to prior big-wiggy departmental celebrations, WB!ers were subject to a venue shift. Visitors from afar joined in, looking a tad perplexed by the entire affair. Nonetheless, the gallant Scot amongst us sallied forth with the lovely Lagavulin 16.

Bravo! fine Thane.
All was well again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Scotch! (King James version)

On this day, June 1, 1495:
The Scottish government records it has commissioned Friar Jon Cor to make Scotch whisky — the first mention in print
of the marvelous elixir that Whisky Break!ers covet, "aqua vitae," as it was known back in the day when King of Scots James IV ordered up eight "bolls of malt." Really, who would argue with such an appellation? Not we of Whisky Break!

John Abell of Wired further avers.
Exact references of this momentous occasion are somewhat thin, and the underlying peg for a tech news organization even thinner. But I would say, with some authority, that Scotch and its many delightful cousins are, if not constant companions in this line of work, at least central to the media ecosystem of reward and motivation.

No respectable bar can exist without Scotch — as well as at least a couple of single malts to which ‘twould be blasphemous to add so much as an ice cube. That is so my friend, even though some 90 percent of the world’s Scotch is of the blended variety, and of that, predominantly examples that should be relegated to the rail.
A little "whisky" etymology.
“Whisky,” you see, is derived from the Gaelic “uisge beatha” or “usquebaugh,” which means “water (aqua) of life (vitae).” As I sip my single malt this fine eve, I must admit it does indeed feel essential to life — surely as necessary as water at any rate. And as I approach (approach, mind you, and surely have not crossed) that tipping point of glee and indifference, I can understand how “usque” could easily be slurred into “whisky.”
’tis true all forms of Gaelic are rooted in Middle Irish, but the particular Gaelic relevant to this story is in fact from that branch of Celtic spoken in the Highlands of … Scotland!
This has been a Whisky Break! public service announcement.