Ideally you want to get into a whiskey bottle, not spend all your time reading it like a cereal box. But to ensure you actually like what you buy, it’s probably a good idea to know how to decode a label. We won’t get into the nuance of all aspects here—whiskey subjects, if you’ve dabbled into them at all, tend to inspire some serious exegesis—but we can help guide you down the whiskey (whisky) aisle with a few key terms and basic definitions.
Correction: Single Malt means that the whiskey came from a single batch of malt rather than from several that were blended. Think of a single origin coffee or single varietal wine versus a blend.
Blended whiskeys tend to be less expensive and more consistent on the flavor because the distillers can make up for weaknesses in one malt with strengths from another.
Single malt whiskeys tend to be more expensive, in part, due to the time and care it takes to get good results from just using one malt instead of blending. You’re also much more likely to get distinct flavors from a single malt (some are peaty, some are smokey, some are floral, some taste of vanilla).
Advertising has and forever will be one of the most creative industries out there. In the 1960s, Volkswagen’s “Lemon” advertisement for the beetle, which showed the word big and bold, ushered in the so-called “creative revolution” throughout advertising agencies. Rather than cliché ads, which only showed the product and the reason for its use — a hammer hitting a head for headache medicine — the word “Lemon” captured people’s attention, and then told them something about the product that was completely unrelated to lemons. If you watch Mad Men, then you know how much drinking is portrayed during that time period. But it was very much the same in reality, and that’s because alcohol certainly does make you more creative.
There’d been news recently to suggest that from an evolutionary perspective, depression should have been weeded out. So it stood to reason that, as miserable as it is to experience depression, there’s a benefit in some manner. I remember someone saying years back that they believed that “no one wrote poetry while they were happy”. Maybe there’s some truth to the statement?
Next time I get pulled over, I’ll try telling the law enforcement representative that I was “driving creatively”: