Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fine whisky: the risk manager

When people think of whisky, they normally think of guys in saloons throwing back shots of firewater, or kids getting wasted in someone's nasty basement. I'm hoping we can change this perception, one open-minded drinker at a time.

Whisky has, I think, gotten a bad rap because it's often portrayed in the media as being some kind of a hellish drink that's only good for killing brain cells. (See, for example, songs such as "Whiskey, You're the Devil" and "Whisky Lullaby.") While it has indeed been the downfall of many, so have other spirits. Why aren't we hearing songs about the terrors of gin? The only songs I know that reference it are Billy Joel's "Piano Man" and Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice." And I don't think Snoop is painting too bad a picture there.

If you're reading this blog, you're probably of the same mindset that I am - whisky can indeed be a crappy drink, but it can also be an amazing one that brings people together and provides a lot of enjoyment. It can be entertaining, community-building, and educational...not to mention really tasty.

I firmly believe that, by providing instruction about the finer parts of whisky, we are pulling people away from the thought that hard alcohol is something used to get drunk quickly. I know that people will take more time with a fine whisky once they appreciate it, and this will lead to a decreased rate of alcohol consumption and less risky behavior. A guy at a bar on a Friday night is, I believe, less likely to get rip-roaring drunk if he's sipping a nice single malt than if he's throwing down Long Island iced teas.

So I see our efforts to promote whisky as not only something that nurtures fun and relaxation, but something that also promotes risk management and gives folks more knowledge at home and at the bar so they can have a safe night and a good morning the next day.


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