2016 Whisky Wind-down, 20: Peat, Politics, Pigs


Today’s dram: Springbank, 10-Year-Old

Today’s tasting notes: This is a bit of strange one. I was given this bottle in my early days of whisky collecting, before either I or my wife (aka, The Empress of Whisky, who delights in favoring her loyal subject with gifts of the water of life) knew exactly what we were doing. She bought it, if I remember correctly, mostly because it was a rarity at the bottle shoppe, the only Campbeltown whisky on offer.

Some history: Springbank is an old distillery, with its Campbeltown production facility dating to 1828. Back then, this whisky region was home to more than two dozen distilleries. Today, only three remain.

Springbank is family-owned, a rarity in these days of global booze conglomerates. It’s also one of only a couple of distilleries that does pretty much the entire whisky production process on site, from malting the  barley to distilling the spirit, from aging the whisky to bottling it. About the only thing they don’t do is grow their own barely. (There is a distillery that does so, but alas I haven’t any of that in my collection.)

So, historic, local, quirky … how does it taste?

Oily.

Or, more precisely: It tastes like fermented canola oil with a touch of peat, salted.

Which is not to say I don’t like it. But it is, shall we say, a whisky for a certain mood, one that strikes but rarely.

Today’s thoughts: So, pigs.

It’s been a long hard year, made worse by the events of November 8, when a minority (albeit an electorally well positioned minority) of Americans chose to elect as president an odious marionette of tainted meat stuffed into an ill-fitting suit.

I really do want to just have fun with Whisky Wind-down, but let’s be honest — kinda the whole reason I’m doing this in the first place is to take my mind off the shitstorm that is 2016. Letting the entire series go without at least touching on politics would be somewhat incomplete.

So, where do we go from here?

“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

That’s Nietzsche, of course.

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

George Bernard Shaw this time, saying perhaps the same thing?

I wonder. There are days when it feels like all the effort in the world doesn’t amount to more than pig-wrestling, and at the end I just sit there, dirty, while the bastards grunt back at me, wondering why in the fuck I ever bothered.

But other days, when I squint right, I don’t see the sty. I see the bleak pit of the abyss, its gaping maw clamoring to consume the world’s last beauty. 

And that’s worth fighting for. 

Today’s pithy summation: There will be a time to make bacon.

Today’s toast: To the good fight: May we be ready for it. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s