As a young man, I read the Russians and Henry Miller and drank Bushmills, thinking myself sophisticated. It was not until my first business trip, to Edinburgh of all places, that I was introduced to single malt Scotch. A mad professor gave me some cask strength whisky and we went out barhopping. We smoked cigars while he regaled me of how the locals would tear up the pubs in wild fights. Later, on a solitary Sunday walk, I found myself in front of a High Street whisky shop. Sadly, it was closed. I gazed through the big picture window until a local gent came by. He waxed longingly about his favorite dram, Bunnahabhain. When I got home, I tracked down a bottle, coughed up the astronomical price (near-penniless as I was) and took it home. That was serious whisky…and my first step down a road of discovery.
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