I’m a very manly man, or so I’d have you believe. I’ve spent my whole life trying to convince you of that, but I’m afraid I’ll never really quite believe it myself. If only there was just one more thing, some magnificently beastly thing that would separate me from the wee girlies while at the same time oozing enough sophistication to keep me within sight of their budoir doors… but what could it be? And also, it’s just got to go well with butter.
A manly man has a beard and a gun. Check and check. He also smokes and drinks. Two more Nike swoops. But those are easy ones, and it can’t be helped but noticed that there are hundreds of checkboxes I’m not going to be able to scratch off. Like hunt. And fish and clean dinner with the same knife. And never cry. And de-emphasize hygiene. And own a hog. And prefer boots. And ride bareback. Interpret as you will, but ability and choice have conspired against me in this matter. So I guess a more realistic mask for myself would be of a gentleman of moderate-to-above-average-manliness. But what am I going to put my butter in?
Single malt Scotch.
I’m an absolute beginner in the world of whisky-without-an-e, but I’ve built up a miniature collection, and I can already tell I’m going to enjoy my expensive little hobby very much.
In my stash at the moment:
- The Glenlivet 12 year
This was my introduction to Scotch whisky. The first bottle was a Christmas gift from my boss, and now I buy it regularly. It’s my “drinking” whisky, and I buy it in the 1.75 liter size at Discount Barley Products, Inc. It’s ridiculous, because it’s a glass jug with a handle… but that doesn’t affect its taste one little bit. The flavor map at malts.com calls it “light & floral,” and I think I’d buy that. The Glenlivet is also my first choice in sleeping aids. So, as a medical expense, I am allowed to buy unlimited quantities of it. This works out quite nicely for me, as you can imagine. The original bottle also came with samplers of 15-and-18-year varieties, but they sort of disappointed me: the 12 year has an edge to it (it is whisky, after all), and smoothing that down through maturation and different finishes just seemed to change the character too much. I liked them, and they were good… but I guess the name Glenlivet invokes certain expectations of flavor and drinkability.
- Glenfiddich 15 year
Another gift from my boss, but this one hard earned through weeks of overtime and sleep deprivation. The Scots call Glenfiddich the Budweiser of whisky, but I just call it magnificent. As with The Glenlivet, this is how I now expect Glenfiddich to taste, and I’m not sure how the other varieties will sit with me now that I’ve appreciated this one so.
- Ardmore 10 year
Though it apparently ranks low on the smokiness scale this one seems very peaty to me, and is the only Scotch I’ve had that I think is improved by a little water. It’s not as subtle as the others and definitely isn’t my first choice in alcohol therapy, but it definitely has its place in my collection. The overriding flavor of the Ardmore reminds me of my English blend pipe tobaccos, and I’m dying to try it with a nice smoke.
- Glenmorangie 10 year
I’m not yet through even my first bottle of the stuff, but I’m willing to go ahead and say that Glenmorangie is my favorite single malt Scotch. It always disappoints me that it doesn’t give off the come-hither aromas that Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet do, but the flavors are subtle and balanced and nothing short of wonderful. The guy at my new favorite likka store highly recommends a sherry-cask-finished Glenmorangie (the Lasanta, I think?), and I’m eager to give it a shot when he has it in stock again.
There are several others I plan on trying, such as Ardmore, Glenkinchie and of course the Glenmorangie Lasanta, but it’ll be a few more months before my little allowance and I have recovered sufficiently from all the winter purchases I made (Christmas, Lynn’s birthday, our anniversary, two bottles of Scotch and a mess of games from the Steampowered holiday sales). Besides, there are other gentlemanly pursuits on my list… and almost all of those require budgets of moderate-to-above-average-manliness.
I guess, too, I should pick up some really, really cheap Scotch for the stupid butter first. I’m not wasting any of my mainline whiskies on sissygirl confections.