Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

Charles MacLean's MacLean's Miscellany of Whisky reprints an anecdote about George IV's visit to Scotland in 1824 from Elizabeth Grant's memoirs. Miss Grant was the daughter of a prominent Edinburgh lawyer who, despite his lack of noble credentials, made quite an impression on the king's party. She writes:
Lord Conyngham, the Lord Chamberlain, was looking everywhere for pure Glenlivet whisky; the King drank nothing else. It was not to be had out of the Highlands. My father sent word to me -- I was the cellarer -- to empty my pet bin, where there was whisky lond in wood, long in uncorked bottles, mild as milk, and the true contraband goût in it. Much as I grudged this treasure, it made our fortunes afterwards, showing on what trifles great events depend. The whisky, and fifty brace of ptarmigan all shot by one man, went up to Holyrood House, and were graciously received and made much of, and a reminder of this attention at a proper moment by the gentlemanly Chamberlain ensured to my father the Indian Judgeship. (p. 98)

What does this have to do with Redbreast, which, after all, is Irish whiskey, not Scotch? Absolutely nothing, with the exception of the phrase "mild as milk," which came to mind while I was enjoying a dram of this last night. It is indeed mild as milk -- smooth, sweet, flavorsome, and pleasant. If someone doesn't like Redbreast, he will not like whisk(e)y of any sort. It's simply wonderful.

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