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One Photo: One Story; Whiskey me

Every drop of whiskey has its own personality. Just as every bottle is opened for a million reasons. Every drop consumed, creates its own legend and story. Love songs, poetry, sonnets and haiku have waxed for the praise of whiskey.

For several hundred years aquavitae, uisce beathe, whiskey has been around. The mere sound of the word, whiskey, strikes a chord.

"too much of anything is bad

but too much good whiskey is not enough"

Mark Twain

I’ve had my share. I still enjoy a drop of the cratur’ now and then.

One of the best whiskey experiences I’ve ever had happened during a family vacation to Ireland in 2017.

After an exhilarating week of experiencing Ireland and all its charm, we stayed one final night at the Bunratty Castle Hotel in County Clare. We gathered in the Creamery Bar and talked about our trip over a few drinks. A bottle on the top shelf caught my eye. I admired the bottle for the better part of an hour. I couldn’t stop talking about it. Kelly told the barkeep to hand me the bottle.

The bartender took down the bottle. Bushmills Millennium Malt.

€50 a shot. I did some quick math and realized the whole bottle would be approximately €1,250 per bottle.

Whiskey is liquid sunshine

George Bernard Shaw

This was some expensive liquid sunshine. The bartender let me hold the bottle and it read: Cask number 266, selected for the Limerick Inn Hotel. Bottle 266/138.

In 1975, The Old Bushmills Distillery invited private investors to purchase a cask of Bushmills malt to be bottled for the year 2000.

Each investor received 200 bottles, all privately labeled and numbered for each investor. It’s a rare whiskey now, occasionally bottles still become available through estate sales.

My wife Kelly bought me a dram to celebrate the end of a wonderful vacation. €50 or $55.84 per shot. I knew this would be special.

Bushmills is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world. This cask is the oldest Bushmills Whiskey ever bottled.

I toasted my family and took a sip. I expected to hear a chorus of Gaelic angels and feel a wave of the Irish Sea crash my taste buds.

It was very smooth. The smoothest whiskey I’ve ever had. It was enjoyable because of my present company.

As for taste, it was malt, apricot, vanilla and other fruits. It’s light and pleasant. I just wouldn’t write poetry about it. Perhaps my taste buds are used to the gritty American nature of Jack Daniels. I read one review that gave it an “F”. I think it’s a bit harsh.

The joy was in the purchase Kelly made for me. It was the toast of our journey and because I wouldn’t shut up about the bottle and the story behind it. We ordered the boys two €5 shots and had another toast.

We had visited the Old Bushmills Distillery in the Spring of 2004. It was the year we were engaged in Ireland and we had come full circle. We were ending a family vacation happy and fulfilled. It was a wonderful gesture.

The splurge I’d prefer so far is Lavagulin 16, The whiskey we’ve been practicing for our whole lives.

“always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of a snake bite

And furthermore, always carry a small snake”

WC Fields

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