Raise Your Glass

Whisky, the water of life. Jim Morrison sang about it, the Scots swear by it, the Irish swear by it louder, we drink it in times of happiness and sadness and on a personal front it is the catalyst to me acquiring the best friends a guy could dream of. In India, besides cricket it’s almost a religion but shhh ! Keep it a secret before the moral police come banging on your door. We love our whisky don’t we? A trip to our favorite bootlegger, oops sorry, I meant legitimate retail store will show you just how much. Every brand of whisky whether real or made up is available for your drinking pleasure and your retail chappy is always happy to tell you just how good the one you’ve chosen is.

But I got to ask, does he really know what he’s talking about and what really makes a whisky good or as the editor of this magazine would want me to say – bespoke?

I will happily confess that I didn’t always drink the best. In college I used to drink the cheap stuff by the bucket loads because it was good to do the trick and you know…..cheap. Oh how I enjoyed every drop. And yet, at that very same time when my Dad threw a party at home, the Red Label he offered me wasn’t good enough, oh no no no, only Black would do because suddenly in this freebie environment I was in, being son and all, my standards rose dramatically.

I have grown up drinking and watching people drink whisky for decades and the one thing I know for sure is this; get a couple of friends together and open absolutely any bottle of whisky and you’re going to have a great time. I could go on with this flowery bull crap but enough of the mellow drama; lets get straight to the point of this jamboree. If whiskies were women I say lets ditch the not so good looking ones with the good heart etc etc, lets bet our millions on the girl that gets your heart racing almost to point of cardiac arrest and gets the juices running south of the border if you know what I mean. You and I both know your going to go back again and again begging for more.

After all you live once, chances are you’re a guy since you are reading a guys magazine and lets be honest here men, isn’t this what we like?

I can’t claim that I’ve had every whisky there is to drink but some very sincere efforts are on. You will not find any of our friends like Johnnie or Chivas on this list, not because they are not fantastic, but because you already know they are. Also I firmly believe that more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better and neither does older the better for that matter. Figure out what you like for yourself. Some of the whiskies that truly blew me away are the ones I am going to share with you, I’ve kept the list short and limited on purpose to the ones available here so that you can begin experimenting. Only so that you can get your daily dose of bespoke immediately so to say.

• Amrut Fusion – (yes, yes and one more yes because if they can do it why can’t the UB Group?)
• Ardbeg 10 YO – (a dominatrix with a heart of gold)
• Lagavulin 16 YO – (she’s a siren, everything all at once)
• Caol ila 12 YO – (peaty but not one to clobber you to peat death unless you’re a masochistic, then stick with the Ardbeg)
• Oban 14 YO – (An emotional connect, my first single malt ever, you know how it is)
• Glenmorangie 10 YO – (your go to girl, a Betty if you like)
• Yamazaki 18 YO – (She says Yakuza, I say Yamazaki)
• Hukushu 25 YO – (for when your done spending time with Madam Yamazaki)
• Talisker 30 YO – (an older experienced mistress, that shows you some tricks for a change)
• The Glenlivet 15 YO French Oak – (sexy and sweet)
• Dewars 18 YO – (she’s learnt a lot as she grew up and now she wants to play)
• Balentines 17 YO – (the shy girl who doesn’t say much but knows it all)
• Macallan 18 YO – (A legend, a glimpse is all you need)
• Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15YO – ( A stag’s night favourite)
• Jameson 12 YO – (The one that got away, one of my top personal favorites and though I haven’t seen her in a while yet I know she thinks of me too)

Cross-posted from The Man, December 2012 Anniversary Issue