Friday, 4 March 2011

Cheerful ramblings from His Lordship

Ah, that Friday feeling, dressing 'down', relaxing and having a few ales. In my case, dressing gown, bed rest and a lemsip. I've got the lurgy! Grrr. Hence, I am a little stuck for topics. Outfit post: 'wet flannel on forehead: the bathroom, thermometer: superdrug, hot-water-bottle: gift'? Charming vintage extracts from home medicine books? (Note to self- that's not a bad one). What about a product review- Beechams v Lemsip v Superdrug own brand decongestant? Would take a while, what with waiting 4-6 hours between doses. Nah. Instead I exercised my wifely perogative and offer for your reading amusement, here for you today, my husband His Lordship Florizel Of Tweed and his amazing performing drinks cabinet:

This is he, playing the fule.

This is the amazing performing drinks cabinet.

Nunc est bibendum: Whisky

“The Chinese invented whisky” – Mr. Stephen Fry, QI, BBC Television
Now I have a few things in common with the esteemed Mr. Fry: a broken nose, education at an esteemed East Anglian institution*, a tailor (Messrs. Stanley Ley on Fleet Street) and a distinct air of self-satisfaction, but he’s a braver man than I. If in doubt of his valour go up to a Scot and tell them their esteemed national tipple is an oriental development and expect to be engaged in fierce debate (whilst getting sliced up like a goodun’ , obviously). Whilst Johnny Scotsman may be an excitable lot they certainly do have much to be proud of in the beverage they named “usquebaugh” or the “water of life”. Sadly, however, like the poor maligned martini in the first of this occasional series of rambling collection of drunken puns and misquotes, whisky is a drink many of us don’t understand or enjoy but with perseverance, a number of hangovers, and careful selection everyone can be as incoherent as a Scot on hogmanay and enjoying one of the finest spirits known to man.
Many people are put off the whisky by childish excess and the resulting suffering. Certainly one of your correspondent’s earliest experiences involved sitting in a kitchen with a giant 'scandinorjen' chap called Ilka the Finn who proceeded to pull out a huge bottle of “Claymore” brand Happy Shopper whisky. “Every time I drink this I lose all my memory”.
“But, dear boy”, I attempted to wheedle, “there’s not enough for both of us in that bottle”.
He laughed in a Norse manner and produced another equally huge bottle saying “Yes, this is yours”. That, dear reader, was my last clear memory for 36 hours and sometimes I receive flashbacks to the dreadful, dreadful hangover. On the upside I did learn a spot of Finnish (“Vitut! Saada moottorisaha!”**) but it has never come in that useful (translation below).
The whisky available in most bars or supermarkets comes from four main countries of supply and broadly portrays the national characteristic:
Scotland: Strong, difficult to understand at first, ultimately worthwile getting to know
Ireland: Sweet, easy to get on with, incautious consumption may lead to fighing/song/both
American: Brash, loud, considers it can’t gain anything from the other countries
Japanese: Bizzare and utterly, utterly incomprehensible
Scottish whisky is generally considered to be the best and will almost certainly cost the most. Most booze bores out there will tell you that only single malt is worth drinking but of course they are, as always wrong. If a producer is going to go to the time and effort of mixing together various different sources of distilled malted barley (the differenct between a single malt and a blended whisky) they are probably doing it for a good reason. The cheap and nasty blends, such as those favoured by Ilka the Norse god of rolling around in the gutter, will take the enamel off your teeth but this is also true of any cheap spirit. The key point is how old it is: as a general rule an 18 year old blend will taste better than an unaged single malt. The aging process is where the witchcraft happens and as a rule of thumb the years spent sitting in the bourbon, sherry, rum or brandy barrels (or sometimes all of them at various times) gives extra smoothness and lovely other tastes such as sweetness and smoke.
Scottish whisky can be a little hard for the newbie to stomach and Denis Leary, the American comedian, does a marvellous impression of the new whisky drinkers face as part of his act, it basically looks like a snapping turtle attempting to pass a kidney stone, but a drop of water or soda will smooth out the edges and even bring out other more subtle tastes.
Chin, Chin!
** “Fuck It! Get the chainsaw”

Some whisky


  1. Chin chin, Lord Florizel. I hope your good lady wife gets well soon.
    You've neglected to mention the marvellous Indian-made Foreign Whisky and my own personal favourite, Black Dog. If ever there was a warning attached to the label of a bottle of booze the title alone would scare you sober.
    I'm rather partial to a wee snifter of VAT 69. xxx

  2. Chin chin, I do hope your lovely lady gets better soon!

    I'm afraid I am one of those that in my youth had a bad experience with whisky & I've never looked at it again, however I also had said experience with Tequila on my 21st - really don't ask... - and I got over that so hey one day I may try again. I love the idea of it but the smell uuurgh

  3. His Lordship can't do tequila either for a similar reason! I can, but not today. It's honey and ginger in hot water this wild Friday night!

  4. hope you feel better soon..dont drink cold drinks while you have a cold.
    I'm not a whisky person ,but that cabinet looks tempting..I only take tequila only if I want to get plastered.

  5. I hope you make a quick recovery!

    What a lovely drinks cabinet you have! I don't tend to drink that often. Infact as of now I haven't drank any alcohol since before Halloween! The reason is Pyf doesn't drink and I hate drinking alone so the only chance I have to get wasted is when I visit my friends back home in Somerset and seeing as my best friend/drinking buddy is pregnant we have not frequented any pubs! I really do fancy a drink after seeing all yoru booze though!
    Favourite drinks are Vodka + Lemonade, Bicardi + Coke, JD + Coke, Malibu + Coke and Peach Brandy! I'm a spirits girl at heart. I can't stand wine! xxx

  6. Hi my dear-what an enjoyable read and wishing you a very speedy recovery too, take care and keep snug and warm xxx

  7. Where do I sign up to spend years rolling around in those barrells? Great post, from a fellow whisky drinker! X

  8. What a lovely drinks cabinet! I hope you feel better now xx


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