April 16, 2008

"Twas unfortunate She drank an insipid Canadian Liquor, and not the noble Highland Spirits."

Sir Archy, the ghost who occasionally visits the comments section of this blog, has something to say about Hillary Clinton's recent demonstration of working-class style by drinking a shot of Crown Royal and a mug of beer:
Before I became the Ghost of a Scotch Gentleman, dead these 250 Years and more, I thought I should never live to see a Lady out of Scotland—and Few in it—drink Whiskey. In that I am not disappointed, for I had not lived; yet Sen. Clinton has drunk—and not only Whiskey, but Beer. 'Twas unfortunate She drank an insipid Canadian Liquor, and not the noble Highland Spirits; but, all Artifice as She is, I cannot but doubt that Someone told her 'twould be good Politicks to be seen raising a North American glass....

Senator Clinton may be all Artifice, but to put the most charitable Interpretation on her choice of Drink, I have little Doubt that familiarity with the so-call'd Bourbon of the American South, has left her unwilling to drink any further of it. That good Scotch Whiskey should Today be consider'd a Drink that only the well-to-do may afford, is another Example of the Chang'd World I so often pitch upon. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton sought the miserable Canadian rye as the only drinkable Spirit that did not have an Odor of Pretense about it, so that She may yet shew Herself to not be above the Common People. I however suspect that the Country People of Pennsylvania drink as little of Crown Royal as they do of any Whiskey, and are ever Beer-drinkers.

I will leave the Interpretation of the modern Meaning & Customs that commonly surround Mrs. Clinton's Choice of Drink to those most familiar with them, and only say that Decency would have me forbear to look further into the Matter.

Wishing I were yet able to drink to Your Health with something other than the very odd Products of North American Stills, I am,


Your humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy


Brian said...

Don't listen to anything Sir Archy has to say; he's a fraud.

Any lover of the noble Highland Spirit knows that Scottish malts are spelled "whisky," not "whiskEy."

There is no such thing as Scotch whiskey. So, if Hillary wanted a whiskey, should could have done far worse than a Canadian malt.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

As a lover of bourbon- particularly the single barrel variety-, a native Kentuckian, I must say Sir Archy that thems fightin' words.

Nothing agains a good single malt Scotch (the blends have a common, and somewhat raw taste to my palate), but I'll put a bottle of Beam's best or Makers Mark against any Scotch for simple straight up sipability.

Different tastes to be sure, but both a pleasant experiance.

Of course, Sir Archy, you and I would both agree that to destroy the experience of a glass of teh distiller's art with a beer chaser is a heresy for a good Scotch or bourbon, and an possibly the only use for the coaser Canadian distilates?

Bissage said...

(1) Sir Archy is totally awesome!

(2) Brian, don’t click on this link.

Sir Archy said...

To Brian.


You are entirely correct that Modern Scotch Whisky is spelt without the letter "E." My Orthography is sometimes wayward, a Fault I may own from my Age. By way of Defence, I will say that I habitually spell it after the Irish way, from the Influence my several Years in Ireland.

As to the Goodness of the Canadian Rye Spirits, that 'tis made of Short Grains and does not contain Indian Corn counts in its Favour; for it cannot be denied that most North American Rye Whiskeys are Smooth and very tolerable to drink, my Point exactly about why Mrs. Clinton should chuse One, when it might be to her Advantage to be seen drinking the miserable Bourbon Whiskey.

'Tis my Opinion that these same Qualities of Smoothness & Pleasantness make these Spirits insipid, compar'd with the Products of the Scotch Highlands, made in small single Pots in Ways familiar to my Day, and not in dark Satanick Stills, as some Wag has once writt'n.

I am,


Your humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

Bob said...

Sir Archy: Any chance of an invite to The Theatre of Topicks? I promise to be on best behavior, Professor Althouse will tell you I am only rarely a problem in her comments section.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, I want an invitation too!

save_the_rustbelt said...

Scotch is for sipping.

Whiskey is for shooting.

Jack Daniels is for cherishing.

"I'm not Scotch. I am a SCOT, and I drink Scotch."

Sean Connery

The Drill SGT said...
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The Drill SGT said...

I was going to make a similiar comment.

In Scotland, they use the term Scottish, not Scotch to refer to their Whiskey. Only the rubes outside the UK call it Scotch Whiskey.

those in the know call it Whiskey or Scottish Whiskey

Sir Archy said...

To the Readers:—

That I would modernise my Spelling & Use of English to suit the Modern World should be a terrible Imposition on someone of my Age & Condition; I would beg your Leave to continue in my habitual Ways.  I must own that I have been fearful of the Consequences of maintaining such Usages with reference to certain Topicks—Things Scottish not the least among them.

Here you may find an excellent short Article explaining the Situation.  You will have seen that I have habitually used the Words "Scots" and "Scotch" in my Writings, and not "Scottish," which had not yet come into vogue when I had Life in my Bones.

By Way of further Defence of my English, I should like to re-quote from the above-mention'd Article, Mr. A.J.P. Taylor, writing so recently as the Year 1965:—

        Some inhabitants of Scotland now call themselves Scots
        and their affairs Scottish. They are entitled to do so.
        The English word for both is Scotch, just as we call
        les fran├žais the French and Deutschland Germany.
        Being English, I use it.

That Mr. Taylor's Remarks have a Tone of Asperity toward the Scots I cannot deny; but I will not deny that he is entirely correct about the English Language.

I will also say, that I had written the word "Whiskey" or "Whisky" perhaps a half-dozen Times in my Life, the first in Ireland, and I confess that I had until Today given it not a Thought at all.

By Way of closing, I must beg Professor Althouse's Pardon if I had appropriated the Description of this, her Theatre of Topicks, to my own Use.  I was going to write to her privately, asking her Leave to do so, and I still shall; but I make this Publick Statement to prevent Confusion & to forstall any Vexation She may feel towards Me.

I also declare that my Theatre of Topicks shall be open'd presently, as soon as I may finish writing some Letters, complete the Decorations & hire the Musick.

Sir Archy

Choey said...

Just for your info... The fine beverage from my ancestor's homeland is Scotch. I suppose if you must, you can add the word "whisky" to it but it would be redundant and superfluous. The fine people from Scotland are Scottish not Scotch.

Now I suppose I could offend a lot of folks by pointing out that technically, Scotch is distilled beer.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

What caught my attention was how she tossed back that whisky. She rather obviously hasn't had a shot since her college years. No serious drinker would tilt that far back.

As always with the Clintons ... it's all for show. The only thing genuine about either of them is their lust for power and privilege.

former law student said...

Sadly, Sir Archy despises us colonials and disrespects our heritage. Rye whiskey is the drink of freedom -- fermented and distilled by Western Pennsylvanians from the rye grain they grew, along the Monongahela the honest citizenry rose up against the Whiskey Tax until they were defeated by great Washington himself, who as Commander-in-Chief summoned the militia and led them into battle.

The farmer-warriors were the well-known Ulster Scots -- Protestant men who had been summoned by one King of England to dwell among the Papists in Ireland, who found their usurpation of honest men's lands and roles obnoxious, and moved to America. Known here as the Scotch-Irish, they have produced thirteen Presidents, from Jackson to Clinton, as well as 90% of all country-western music.

Many of these rebels fled beyond the practical reach of the Federal fist, to the back woods of Kentucky and Tennessee, where they raised Indian corn and produced what later became known as Bourbon whiskey.

Further, Americans have Canadian whisky to thank for making Prohibition palatable. Crown Royal is produced by Seagrams, which turned out millions of gallons of whisky that somehow found its way to America. What at the time was the world's largest distillery, in Waterloo, Ontario, was within easy driving distance of northern states from Michigan to Maine. Seagram's Bronfman family owners became renowned for their philanthropy and leadership in the world's Jewish community.

Finally, what is Scotch whisky but the ghost of Scottish beer? Uisge baugh, or "the water of life," which later became corrupted into the word Whisk(e)y, is produced by the distillation of barley beer, not fruit juices like the French eaux de vie, or potatoes like the Russian vodka. Those who appreciate Scotch can never disrespect beer.

Roger J. said...

Redneck: I was recently in Frankfort, KY, and tried some small batch bourbons. They were much superior to the name brand large batch stuff. I think if more of those got into the market, bourbon might be enjoyed by even more.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Known here as the Scotch-Irish, they have produced thirteen Presidents, from Jackson to Clinton, as well as 90% of all country-western music.

finally FLS makes some sense. I'd add two footnotes.

1. And provide the backbone of the US Military for 200+ years.

2. The Scottish folkance is the basis for US Square Dancing, which I think of as Western Square Dancing.

Superdad said...

This must be set straight. “Canadian Rye” is not eye whiskey. It is blended garbage made from any whiskey distillate (corn, wheat, rye etc.) and neutral spirits (i.e. non-whiskey alcohol of any kind). Canadian Rye is a generic, meaningless term.

Per US labeling requirements, a straight eye, (Templeton, Sazarac, Rittenhouse, Mitchers, Van Winkle to name a few) are at minimum 51% rye and the rest of the mash must also be whiskey (corn, wheat). (Anything labeled rye – but not straight rye – is 51% rye and neutral spirits).

Rye is the original American whiskey. Western Penn and Maryland were to two dominate rye producing regions and each had a slightly different taste. There has been a resurgence of rye in the last few years and if you like scotch or bourbon I suggest you give rye a try. It is a bit spicier than bourbon and fuller than scotch. Cheaper ryes will feel syrupy in your mouth – so stick with the straight ryes. Luckily since it is a niche market most of it is pretty good.

Also, while Canadian got rut helped get us through the dark years, when someone walked into a speak easy and ordered “the good stuff” – they were looking for rye. In fact, Templeton Rye was first produced during prohibition in Templeton, Iowa to supply Chicago’s speak easies with real whiskey. It has been in continuous production since – but only recently decided to become legal.


(I am in no way connected to the Templeton folks).

Trooper York said...

It's those god damn Canadians I tell you. It just goes to show you that Hillary just can't get it right. A shot and beer should never be Crown Royal. That's too hotsy totsy. A shot of Four Roses, or Irish Rose or Dewar's or something more working class for cyring out loud. Jeeeez.

Roger J. said...
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Roger J. said...

And needless to say, Superdad, that Sazerac Rye Whisky and Peychaud's bitters are the essential ingredients in the truly American cocktail: the sazerac

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Roger, I know what you mean.
The small batch stuff is a recent innovation (at least, recently marketed; some of the bourbon was barrelled 10 years ago or more), and I have been a bourbon drinker for 25 years and never tased anythng as smmoth as the single barrel stuff. Maker's Mark used to be my gold standard, but I recently had some of Jim Beam's Knob Creek; I've had branch water that wasn't that smooth!

Roger J. said...

And Knob Creek is 90 proof as well.

Nichevo said...

The funny thing is how some things you could order make you a snob, and others make you a connoisseur.

I understand the resurgence of American rye to be rather a new thing. I will have to look into it.

Nichevo said...

A woman is entitled to some latitude. I don't think we could object if she had ordered a shot of Chivas. Of course she would have said "Chivas Regal" which would have spoiled the whole effect.

What does Ann drink?

madawaskan said...

Well the sazerac was invented in New Orleans....even though some high falutin' New Yorkers think it takes them to resurrect it.

Damn it Sir Archy -typical...

Typical Sir Archy type blaming the papists, er Irish.

And you Canadian haters-

Half of me says-shove off,ey!?Please, and um sorry-I mean that...

Roger J. said...

Madawaskan: I spend my summers canoeing north of the Churchill river: Most beautiful country there is--I am going to hate it when it turns all tropical because of global warming. I love Canadians--just can't stand gravy on fries.

Trooper York said...

Canada is pure evil. They are a bunch of wishy washy freeloaders who hide under our defense umbrella
while pissing on our country. What do they send us but bad weather and lousy toothless hockey players. I tell ya, we need to build a fence to keep them in that frozen hell that is canuck land. People aren't focousing on the real immigration problem. Those hardworking Mexican families aren't the problem. Everybody should own one. It's those damn flithly Canadians. And I don't care what you say, Labatt's sucks.
And Moosehead doesn't taste any better (the beer that is, ask Titus about real moose head).

Sigivald said...

rustbelt: Foulness!

Jack Daniels' is ideal for pouring into drains, direcktly. The sole approvable product of that Damn'd company is Gentleman Jack - with their Rye Whiskey tolerable, unlike the vile taint of the ordinary Jack Daniels' Whiskey.

(On hand t' other, I cannot agree with Sir Archy's opinion of the finest produce of the State of Kentucky.

The best of the Bourbons are the equal of any of the produce of Hibernia or the land of the Picts.

They have the singular advantage, as well, of not tasting of a peat bog.)

madawaskan said...

Roger J.

Damn I spent just about every summer up 'dere canoeing...

Get down here and now I have to kayak-tried the J-stroke and damn near flipped myself...

Trooper, Trooper, Trooper-


Look I'm classy I drank the real stuff-

Alpine and Schooner....

{wonder if they still make that schwill...}

Cedarford said...

Commentors opining on the merits of various whiskeys sort of miss the point. We are talking boilermakers!!!. Not malt connoisseurs at a sipping.

Any old 80-proof crap whiskey from anywhere coupled with a drinkable beer fits the bill.

Nichevo said...

See, C4, you can write a comment without mentioning Jews. Good for you! Hey...at least she didn't order a slivovitz. We drink a lot of that at Passover in toasts; it'll put hair on your cheat, not that she needs any more of that.

Now, as to boilermakers...is it the same thing as simply having a shot with a beer chaser? Properly speaking a boilermaker is the shot dropped into the beer, neh? In which case it might be the same thing as drinking Absolut (pfui) - with mixers you can't tell it's really akvavit. Of course then you might as well have Smirnoff or Popov or whatever is on sale.

If it's a whisky neat, with say a Rolling Rock (Latrobe, PA) back, you can taste each separately.

I have never had a boilermaker. Not sure if I should. I am eager to try what I have heard called either a depth charge or an Irish car bomb (no offense): a pint of Guinness; take a shotglass and fill it half with Jameson's and half with Bailey's; drop the shotglass into the stout and drink.

I am not actually a big drinker, though I proved in college that I can. I don't drink to get drunk, I prefer to enjoy the taste and merely feel the effects creep up on me. (I also find I am a cheaper date than I used to be...)

I'm half surprised she didn't order Absolut. Woulda nailed her the Mexican vote ;> http://absolut.com/iaaw/blog/we-apologize

Jacob said...

Boo-erns. If you're going to have Canadian Whisky you should try Forty Creek! It's great stuff.

"I love Canadians--just can't stand gravy on fries."
I also don't understand how anyone could not like poutine.

––a confused Canadian

blogging cockroach said...

poutine washed down with boilermakers
as a cockroach im not fussy
but even i have standards

mom here in the house is french
from france not north gumshoe up in quebec
anyway she got it into her head to treat us
to some quebec food
she made poutine
she was shaking her head and muttering bad words in french
while she was making the
everybody else was muttering bad words
in their respective languages as they tried
to gag it down

even i couldnt stand the
youve got to be kidding
this is a little quebec joke non...

anyway im imagining poutine with canadian rye and a molson chaser

i think i need to go take an aspirin

blogging cockroach said...

i have an idea
somebody should ask mrs clinton or sen mccain or even obama
if they have had a chance to chat yet with
the premier of quebec
jean marie poutine

Mr. B. said...


Hill almost got it right.

What we working class people used to drink after a hard day in the Pittsburgh steel mills or the mines is: "Imp and Iron."

That's a shot of Imperial Whiskey with a glass of Iron City beer as a chaser.

The way Iron City beer is manufactured is to make a batch and evaporate to dryness. Then add ingredients for the next batch and redo.

This give you a really beery tasting beer. The kind you need after a day in the mill or the mine.

Oh and a mug would have been nye kulturney.

Ah the good old days.

Nichevo said...

Good for western PA. Me, I am taking a long bath this evening, and am currently starting on a bottle of Stella Artois with a generous short of Luksosowa poured into it. Tastes pretty damned good, hyuk hyuk, hic! Hope I don't drown.

I believe this type of boilermaker is knows as a "sidecar" as the hooch has been poured into the beer (and gently mixed by tipping the bottle). Apparently a shot and a beer is just a boilermaker; and to dro a shotglass into a mug is known as a depth charge.

Anyway, as soon as I get over my Althouse addiiction, will report back on the B&B (bath & boilermaker). Or not...

Nichevo said...

well...you will sleep tight...