[Editor's note: science fiction novelist Spider Robinson forever influenced my liquor consumption habits with the rhapsodic praises for Bushmill's 1608 Irish whiskey that feature in so many of his books. I've bought rather a large number of bottles of the stuff. So when I got this email (with the subject "Unsolicited testimonial") from him in my inbox this morning, I did two things: ordered a bottle and asked if I could republish the email here here. Spider graciously permitted this. -Cory]
Iâve tried most high-end Irish whiskeys, and always kept coming back to Bushmills 1608. But I just switched loyalties.
I freely confess I was initially attracted by the name alone. Iâd have bought my first bottle just to own the bottle, even if the contents had been undrinkable. But itâs not why Iâm now already up to my sixth bottleâand at approximately CAN$65 per bottle! In my opinion, it tastes like what God drinks when Heâs sitting at His typewriter. Whiskeyâuisge baughâmeans âwater of Life.â This tastes to me a bit like the first tide pool that developed chemistry sophisticated enough to make its own alcohol. I just gave bottles to my siblings for Christmas, and I recommend the stuff unreservedly to you, my friends.
If your local Liquor Commission doesnât stock it and is too stupid to order it for you, just Google up the online hootch-delivery service called Master Of Malt, and youâll be drinking it less than a week later without paying shipping, plus theyâll happily sell you either 1 or 6 handsome tasting glasses for a reasonable extra sum. Iâve used MoM to ship the stuff to both NYC and rural Florida without incident; both received breakage-free delivery within 3 days.
Itâs called Writerâs Tears.
Isnât that glorious? And it tastes good enough to deserve that grand name.
It is made by what is called the pot still method. The pot still is worth googling up: it is the direct lineal descendant of the alchemistâs alembic, first source of ancient magic. The one pictured in Wikipedia (attached) looks startlingly like a stupendous bronze Hersheyâs Kiss, the size of a hobbit house, with a little stem sticking out the top representing the smokestack. Or I suppose it could be a half-buried grenade whose pin has just been pulled. Or half of a giantâs brass bra. As I said: ancient magic. Battle, brass boobs, chocolate.
Oh, and while youâre at Master Of Maltâs website, look around and youâll find the surprising and delightful answer to the age-old question, âWhy do some people spell it âwhiskyâ and some spell it âwhiskeyâ?â I loved the answer.
(Images: Spider Robinson, Stephan Schulz/JamesonStillCork)