Irish Neat

In a blog post from November 2017, I announced to my wide world of readers (all 50 of you) that I was embarking on a continuing education program whereby I would train myself to like whiskey. Up to that point, I was a firm wine or gin drinker, with an occasional bloody mary or margarita thrown in for variety. I was surprised at the amount of support I got on my endeavor. I don’t know if people are just happy to see someone my age taking on new adventures, or if more people than I realize own stock in the adult beverage business.

Unexpected people started giving me bottles of their favorite whiskeys. I got an interesting whiskey called Tincup from a friend who likely doesn’t drink anything stronger than sherry. Tincup has the distinction of being made in Colorado using Rocky Mountain water. While visiting Bill and me for Thanksgiving 2017, my nephew Christopher, also mostly a nondrinker, showed up one afternoon with a bottle of Makers Mark bourbon, determined that bourbon should be my whiskey of choice. Bill’s son David gave me a bottle of fine Glenfiddich Scotch whiskey for Christmas that year, telling me the best way to drink it is with a touch of water. Pretty good recommendation from another nondrinker. My nephew Erik took me to a very cool whiskey and cigar bar and bought me a lovely rye to give a whirl.

I have tried them all and more, and have come down on the side of a favorite. More about that later.

If you will recall, my interest in whiskey can be attributed to the television program Blue Bloods, in which Police Commissioner Frank Reagan drinks a glass of whiskey on almost every program. He just looks so cool. In the most recent episode, he went into a bar and ordered a drink. Here is what he said, verbatim: I want an Irish, neat, with a glass of ice. 

I’m telling you, I’m going to do that. I’m going to go into a dark bar with leather seats where there are people sitting at the bar hunched over their drinks, and say Give me an Irish, neat, with a glass of ice. 

A few months ago, Eddie (who is Jamie’s fiance from the same television series) went into a bar and said Give me a glass of Irish whiskey with one ice cube. One ice cube. That threw me. I mentioned this to my son Court, and he explained that the ice cube she was talking about is really big, and cubes that size are good for whiskey because they melt slowly.

So I went into a bar in Fort Collins with Bill and my sister Jen, and ordered a glass of Jameson with one ice cube. The bartender poured me a glass of Jameson and gave me one teeny-tiny ice cube. I’m pretty sure he rolled his eyes when he had his back to me.

Yesterday as Bill and I were driving to Total Wine and Liquor so I could stock up on Tanqueray and the whiskey which I have declared to be my favorite (again, more about that later), I told him I wanted to go to a bar in San Tan (the upscale area where Total Wine and Liquor is located) and order an Irish, neat, with a glass of ice on the side. Bill smiled patiently and explained that I should refrain from saying “on the side” as that was redundant and sounded stupid. He didn’t say stupid.

So, finally I am going to tell you what I have decided is my favorite whiskey. The winner is: Crown Royal, with Jameson coming in at second place. The Jack Daniels is for Bill….

I announced my decision to Bill, adding that I was somewhat embarrassed that Jameson didn’t come in at first place. He told me not to be embarrassed; instead, be a proud drinker of Canadian whiskeys. After all, Canadians are really nice.

I just wish the makers of Crown Royal didn’t use so much packaging for their product. Seriously, I want to figure out how to recycle the Crown Royal bags, maybe into newborn baby caps.

By the way, we did go to a bar in San Tan, but I drank a Diet Coke.


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