April Mailbag: St. George’s Edition

St. George

Every now and then a letter comes along that is so witty, well-written, and downright interesting that it deserves a mailbag post all to itself.  Happy St. George’s Day!

Dear Whisk(e)y Catholic Guys,

While others might email you and tell you that Chesterton would embrace “marriage equality” (no) or chastise you for your provincial view of binary genders, I take issue with the fact that, after all this time, you all have not yet reviewed my favorite Irish Whiskey (whiskies?)–Red Breast and Tullamore DEW.  I hide my Red Breast until special occasions, and my go-to affordable Irish is Tullamore DEW.  I suggest you drink them immediately and then review them whenever possible.  Or, just drink them immediately.  My first question is, “Is it sacrilegious to drink an Irish Whiskey in honor of the Patron of England?  There’s less than a week till St. George’s Day, and I want to celebrate with Red Breast.”

Also, I appreciate that Dr. Marshall mentioned gin, and I’m quite impressed you all suggest Plymouth, which is obviously the sophisticated choice of men who hold pedantic views of binary gender.  Let me suggest the inexpensive Broker’s Gin for a solid gin and tonic, which is, in my mind, a superior drink to the White Russian for Paschal celebration.

And, as a Colorado native and resident of the state where God vacations, I must suggest that you review Tincup Colorado Whiskey on your blog.  It’s not spectacular, but it’s better than Buffalo Trace and Bulleit.  I like it neat, next to a campfire enjoying God’s creation, and it’s a great base for a great Old Fashioned.

Finally, another question in two parts.  While I don’t drink my whiskey from a solo cup, I also don’t own specialty glassware.  How do you drink your leisurely dram?  Should I be pouring my Tullamore DEW, or Scotch into something a bit more sophisticated after my boys are asleep?  Secondly, while I love the look of a decanter and matching glasses, does the decanter actually do anything (good or bad) to your whiskey or Scotch?

No…now a final question.  My foray in to Scotch has been less than exotic–Glenlivet and Glenfiddich.  What should be next on my list?  I’m interested in Laphroaig, but I’m a bit nervous about spending the money and having the peat overwhelm me.  

Now I’m going to drink a beer…a good, Colorado-brewed Left Hand Nitro Stout and await advice.  Actually, I’m headed to bed, where I’ll include you all and your families in my prayers.  You all have created a great site.  I’m a fan of Christ and conviviality.  You provide suggestions on how to find both.  Thanks for that.

Your brother in Christ,
Jim(my)

Jim,

You’re right — not reviewing Red Breast or Tullamore DEW is a major oversight.  At our last Whiskey Catholic meet up we had to choose between reviewing Jack Daniel’s Green Label and Tullamore and chose the former.  When we get together again over Memorial Day weekend I promise that we will rectify the situation. When I was studying in Houston a friend of mine would break out Tullamore when we were both in town on the same day.  I have fond memories of it and Tullamore is certainly one of my favorite Irish drinks.

I thought long and hard about whether it would be sacrilegious to drink Irish whiskey on St. George’s Day and my answer to you is that it would be sacrilegious not to do so.  St. George was (1) not English and (2) heroically and radically Catholic to the point of martyrdom.  If we truly want to honor the saint with a drink, it only seems fitting to raise a glass of a spirit distilled in the most Catholic whiskey-making country in the world; Ireland.

Thank you for the suggestions with respect to Broker’s and Tincup.  We are always looking for new whiskies to try and Andrew is constantly experimenting with gin and tonics.  He makes an exceptional one that I miss very much; they remind him of his travels in India.

Andrew and I both own a set of nosing glasses, which I promise to publish a post on shortly.  The nosing glass is not expensive and certainly enhances the whiskey experience by increasing the surface area of the drink exposed to the air while concentrating the aromas toward the opening of the glass.  A decanter also increases the surface area of the whiskey exposed to air, which can aid in smoothing out flavors and “opening” the spirit.  Personally, I often allow a good scotch to breathe for about 45 minutes in a nosing glass before drinking it.  I enjoy the aromas, am often not in a hurry because I am deep into a book, and believe that the air improves the taste.  For those who drink whiskey frequently and do not wish to wait 45 minutes to achieve the best taste, a decanter is a wonderful option.

One of the wonderful things about scotch is how much diversity there is among the different whiskies.  If you want to experiment with an Islay but are worried that you might not enjoy the medicinal, peaty aroma of Laphroaig, I would suggest either Peat Monster or Kilchoman, both of which combine peat smoke with sweeter aromas.  There is a world of wonderful, light, airy Highlands and Speysides that you might enjoy, however.  I am working my way through two incredible Speysides now that we will feature shortly and Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban is one of my all-time favorites.

Thank you for the prayers.  I cannot say that I have ever prayed for our readers but tonight I will be sure to start.

Have something to say?  Send us a letter at whiskeycatholic@gmail.com

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