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Choice of drink

27/09/2013

Recently I took part in a whisky tasting organized by the national malt whisky club. The venue was a pub that I used to frequent quite often at a time when I lived just a few blocks away, a very nice place with a cosy homelike air about it. The tasting had a presenter that was familiar with most of the distilleries whose whisky was offered and went through the usual basic set of facts with a dash of the tartan and stags romance thrown in so all in all the evening was quite nice, especially since my girlfriend accompanied me and we had a nice time tasting the very different drams on offer.

The one thing that got me thinking though was that the other club members present, although by and large a nice crowd of people, had a few individuals that seemed to be more interested in the price of whisky, that offered and in general, than the drink itself. These people seemed to bring up the price of any dram they had drunk and any bottle they had purchased with the inbuilt assumption that the pricier, the better. To me at least this seemed to be an (backfiring) attempt to better ones image or advertise fine taste as if the means to buy overpriced liqueur makes one a bit better than the bloke next door that can’t (or could but has better things to do with his money). I was a bit disappointed with this since I’ve previously associated this attitude with people who drink expensive wine and for some reason it made me a bit sad to find similar attitudes about whisky, a drink I quite enjoy and dare I say it, love. Personally I think that good whisky isn’t always expensive and some of the drams I enjoy the most are also the most common in pubs, Jameson as an example comes immediately to mind.

Compare this to beer. At least over here the humble pint is still considered by some to be pedestrian be it your generic tasteless lager or even anything “fancier”. Beer is beer, a common mans drink. Ordering one is not a statement about how refined you are, rather it seems to state the opposite in the eyes of some people. I find this interesting, do different beverages acquire “status” on whether they are imported or not and if they are more expensive? If grapes would grow over here and barley would not, would we consider beer a refined drink of the “finer” people? If so, why don’t they drink a lot of beer in France? To my knowledge they do not, but surprise, whisky is quite popular in France, more so than Brandy or so I’ve been told.

It seems funny to me how the choice of drink in a social setting often carries overtones and an image that is conveyed knowingly or otherwise. Maybe we should try to learn to enjoy things as they are and find out what we really like rather than get hung up on how other people see your preferred beverage   and whether or not it is “ok” to drink this or that. At least I’ll try to make an effort to shrug of any predefined attitudes that I still catch myself having sometimes. Drink what you enjoy and enjoy what you drink. Cheers!

 

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