How White Owl Whisky made me a more responsible writer

My fellow inebriates,

I’ve been a fan of This Week in Virology (TWIV) for quite a while, even if 99 percent of it is beyond my two brain cells’ capacity to understand. I even pasted a poem into TWIV’s comments a couple of weeks ago, which they deleted.

In TWIV episode 760, the virologists and some guests took on the Nicolas Wade article about the possible origins of SARS-CoV-2. They accused Wade of not bothering to do the proper research.

Photo by CDC on Pexels.com

Then they addressed all writers, which I took to include yours truly, saying we need to be more responsible in our reporting.

Duly chastened, I went back to my post about SARS-CoV-2 to check it for balance.

After reading it carefully, I realized I had oversold you on Moosehead beer, which is basically a typical lager-style hockey beer.

It is refreshingly fizzy, though, and I stand by that.

~

This experience has taught me something.

I realize I have a duty to warn you about White Owl Canadian Whisky, made from wheat and rye and stripped of colour through charcoal filtering.

A small shelf-talker bottle of White Owl Whisky had hitchhiked home around the neck of a big-ass bottle of Wiser’s Deluxe that my mum bought before Christmas. (I’ll tell you about the Wiser’s another day.) The tiny bottle naturally ended up in my Christmas stocking. Delightful though that was, my paws were unable to open the damn bottle, and so it took up residence on the coffee table, taunting me.

Finally, I got it open. The effort was so jarring that I spilt it all over myself. I didn’t mind, though! I happily slurped it out of my fur—and as a bonus, White Owl is clear, so no washing machine for me.

But White Owl ain’t no sipping whisky. The filtering process that makes it look like vodka takes it halfway to tasting like vodka. It’s not mellow or caramelly; it’s harsh and spiky—a weird, in-between product. Granted, it’s more viscous than vodka, and it tastes rounder and more complex, but OMG, there were some nasty-ass flavours fighting it out in that little bottle (and in my fur!).

So consider this my (unaccredited) journalistic warning—White Owl Whisky should not be savoured. Throw it into a strange cocktail you’ve never heard of before. Why? Because then you won’t compare it with your experience of drinking that same cocktail made with a nice brown whisky. Try it in a Whiskey Smash maybe.

My mum came into the room while I was licking my fur and gave me a weird look. “What?” I said. “That’s what animals do. Look at the gerbils—they’re licking each other right now.”

She sniffed and then uttered the words: “washing machine.”

But she can be super-lazy, so she forgot all about it. And by the next day, the smell of White Owl Whisky had entirely evaporated.

Said my friend Scarybear: “See? That’s what happens to evidence.”

GREEN SPOT SINGLE POT STILL IRISH WHISKEY—Not for binge drinking

Today’s Reason to Drink: that particular feeling you get when you’ve just binge-viewed a TV series in its entirety. It’s over, and you’re abject. That feeling of Now what will I love???

No, the series in question is not Arrested Development. Truth be told, we’ve been limping through AD2013 without much investment. The series I’ll miss is the 2006-08 UK series Life on Mars.

life on marsWe were late to the party with Life on Mars, but that’s what happens when you kibosh your satellite subscription and go with Netflix Canada. We weren’t even going to watch Life on Mars, but then my friend Scarybear wanted to because he thought it would be about the actual planet Mars; he hoped to see some cool aliens or spaceships. Scary was a little put out to find that Life on Mars was a cop show set in the Earth city of Manchester, but he quickly got sucked into it along with the rest of us bears.

In Life on Mars police detective Sam Tyler gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. “Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time?” he asks. “Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home…” Even Scarybear grudgingly admits that 1973 does seem Mars-like compared to 2006. You’ve got the fashion, the non-stop drinking and smoking, the sex, the violence. We loved Life on Mars, but it was only two seasons long, and we’re sad enough it’s over that we have to get drunk.

Luckily we have new booze at LBHQ. On their way home from Ireland my Nana and Papa went through the duty-free and got me some GREEN SPOT SINGLE POT STILL IRISH WHISKEY. Being sad because I’d run out of Life on Mars episodes, I really needed this sort of confirmation that Nana and Papa love me. Of all the crazy-generous gifts—three outfits apiece for the girls plus chocolate, a T-shirt and hat for Dad, and this

More on this later.

More on this later

for Mum—GREEN SPOT was the very best gift of all.

Green Spot IW

Blatant favoritism, right? I mean, I knew they loved me, but wow. They obviously love me best. I’ll have to be careful not to let the kids know.

GREEN SPOT has been described by whiskey writer James Murray as “unquestionably one of the world’s great whiskeys.”  A blend of eight- and nine-year-old single pot still whiskeys, a quarter matured in sherry, then bourbon, then Malaga wine casks, GREEN SPOT is a venerable whiskey that came into existence around 1920. Golden-amber and highly aromatic, GREEN SPOT wafts stone fruit, citrus peel and vanilla; it really doesn’t set you up to expect its substantial, creamy character or its abundance of toffee and caramel on the palate. GREEN SPOT is big and full-bodied, generously layered and nuanced, and caressingly smooth. The finish is warm and memorable.

We mostly enjoy Islay whiskies at LBHQ, so GREEN SPOT was an inordinate treat. While I love a good peaty Scotch whisky, the peat is often so dominant that the more playful subtleties get beat up like a suspect on Life on Mars. GREEN SPOT offers a lighter flavor profile without sacrificing any weight, so you get a luxurious sipper that fully satisfies the palate.

Should we binge-drink GREEN SPOT the way we binge-watched Life on Mars? I’m always in favor of binge-drinking any product that enters LBHQ, my fellow inebriates, but GREEN SPOT is so sublime that I have to say no: Do not binge-drink GREEN SPOT. You wouldn’t want to be half in the bag and miss out on its delectable attributes. And let’s face it, even a booze as wonderful as GREEN SPOT won’t taste as good coming up as it did going down.

As for this guy….

031

I thought he was just jet-lagged but he continues to look this way. Long after Scary and I were asleep he continued like this; he practically had electric sparks shooting out of him. We figure he’s a speed freak.