Whisk(e)y has been supped on, shielded and savoured for over 500 years. When you take a sip and the earthy gold zings on your tongue, you start to revel in the glorious taste that has been a favourite of many of the greats; the decision makers, movie makers, game changers and change makers.
I’ve poured over some of the best sayings, quotes and jokes about malts, Scotches and firewater, trying to narrow some of the most beautiful lines written about Whisky, to a list of just ten.
And then it dawns on me, I’m doing the wrong sort of pouring. So I splash some Whisky over ice in my favourite cut glass tumbler, tuck my feet underneath me, and let the Whisky pick the best of the bunch. Let the legends do the talking...
1. Ava Gardner
I wish to live to 150 years old, but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of Whiskey in the other.Famously a lover of Tequila and Whiskey, the American film star Ava Gardner is rumoured to have been able to match Hemingway drink for drink!
2. Compton MacKenzie
Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whisky makes it go round twice as fast.Scottish writer Compton MacKenzie loved Whisky so much that he wrote a novel called Whisky Galore - a comedic story about a group of shipwrecked Scottish islanders on a desperate search for Whisky.
3. Raymond Chandler
There is no bad Whiskey. There are only some Whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.Raymond Chandler was an American-British screenwriter. Although characters in his novels tried all kinds of spirits, Chandler would only drink Whiskey. Well why not?
4. Alexander Fleming
A good gulp of hot Whisky at bedtime—it’s not very scientific, but it helps.Alexander Fleming was a Scottish biologist, best known for his discovery of the world's first antibiotic substance. Whether its scientific or not, it looks like there’s a thriving Whisky tradition in Scotland.
5. Clarence Darrow
Some of you say that religion makes people happy, so does Whiskey.Clarence Darrow, a US civil rights lawyer, travelled to Europe and wrote letters to his granddaughter about the Whiskey he tasted in Ireland.
6. Haruki Murakami
Whisky, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then it’s time to drink.The tradition of Scotch Whisky continues to win fans across the globe. Japanese writer Haruki Murakami professed his love for Scottish blends at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
7. Pappy Maverick
Never cry over spilt milk. It could've been Whiskey.Pappy Maverick is a character in the 1994 film Maverick. One of many life lessons and rather wise advice!
8. Irish proverb
What Whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for.Some of the best Whiskey in the world can be found in Ireland, enough said.
9. Mark Twain
The true pioneer of civilization is not the newspaper, not religion, not the railroad but Whiskey!American writer Mark Twain had a life-long love affair with Scotch, which began when he travelled to England in 1873.
I’ve tried my own Whisky verse, why not try one of your own and leave it in the comments below?
There’s just one thing that’s key
To leave the chaos and grind
For dancing feet and a still mind
A few drops of blended Whisky
© Louise Sinnerton