Lifestyle & Belief

Something to celebrate: World Whisky Day


The Water of Life - a joy and a big business - is celebrated today globally


Jeff J Mitchell

There are worse ways to pass the time then celebrating the water of life. (Uisge beatha means "water of life"in Gaelic and is the origin of the word whisky - or whiskey as they spell it in Ireland, Kentucky and Lynchburg, Tennessee.)

World Whisky Day is the brainchild not of a distiller's marketing department or the Scottish government seeking to promote a major export - whisky sales overseas increased by 22% last year to £3.5bn ($5.6 billion) - but a 21-year old University of Aberdeen student, Blair Bowman, according to the BBC. (Although Bowman is the name of a premium whisky ... coincidence? No, according to The Scotsman newspaper)

For those of you who want to reminisce about malt with a visual aid, the Daily Telegraph has this nicely illustrated travel piece about walking the Speyside Whisky Trail.

Myself, I think a day to celebrate whisky is a good idea but it comes too close to Lent. Too many people are on their annual liver regenerating renunciation of booze to take full advantage.

I don't think spring/summer is a good idea either: that's really rum time, if you think about it.

Whisky should be celebrated in November (in the northern hemisphere) when the first defenses against the cold are worn down and you need to reacquaint yourself with the warming properties of malt, peat, and fresh water, blended with a soft, salty hint of Atlantic Ocean air. (I'm an Islay man, myself).