Whiskey was first created, so far as historians can tell, in the north of Ireland. Despite stiff opposition from the pneumatic tyre, milk chocolate and the tractor, it is the north of Ireland’s supreme contribution to the world, in my opinion.
I’ve drunk it all my adult life, sometimes to excess admittedly! Usually, though, I’ve done so as most whiskey drinkers do, moderately, and in pursuit of the sublime dance of flavours and conviviality that nothing else can quite offer.
I’m no bigot. I’ve avidly toured Islay and Kentucky, and enjoyed whiskey from all over the world. I especially appreciate Irish potstill, Islay malts, a Kentucky Rye, but am a lover or at least prepared to approach almost any whiskey.
Why do I spell it with an E? Because it’s what I’m used to. Historically it didn’t have one, being an anglicisation of the gaelic Irish Uisce Bheatha. The Dublin distillers added the letter in the early 20th century to distinguish their wares from inferior Scotch blends, and it stuck culturally.
I love hosting whiskey tastings, and sharing my love for the king of spirits with anyone, be they connoisseur or trepidacious newcomer. I’ve hosted cocktail nights, food pairings, whiskey dinners, Burns Nights and even once held a masterclass in how to drink whiskey like a dictator.
I helped to found the Irish Whiskey Society, wrote the tasting notes for their earliest bottlings (though nowadays I’m more inclined to writing whiskey haikus) and co-administrate one of Facebook’s most popular whiskey pages, the Pure Potstill Irish Whiskey Appreciation Club.
If you have a whiskey project, event or collection you’d like advice or consultation on, I’ll try to help or point you in the direction of the (wo)man who can.