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.

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