An approximately 130 years old brand, calling itself the perfect scotch is what Black Dog is all about. Yes, someone did once describe this scotch as sunlight held together by water… though I’m sure Sir Walter Millard, a Scot, might not have agreed to the technicalities of the phrase but would surely have loved the poetry inherent in the words. BD, I must admit, is bottled poetry and a lot more!
The first time I held a bottle of Black Dog in my hands I was tempted to hold it aloft and peer through it to look at the filtered sunlight streaming in through the window in my Study. Yes, I agreed with the gentleman who had gone on to describe this scotch as sunlight held together by water… and so that day I sat down to research on what others might have said about a whisky and if it could be applied to the BD in my hands.
W C Fields has written: “Always carry a flagon of whisky in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake.” And which goes on to amply show the fervour of a scotch lover!
Let me now retell a story that is attributed to Winston Churchill, Nobel Laureate. We know this man had an impressive capacity for whisky and a penchant for gurgling out the best anecdotes and stories and pithy observations. Churchill once pithily observed that “water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learnt to like it.” He is also reported to have once told his son, “Haven’t you learned yet that I put something more than whisky into my speeches?” Reading this last observation more than whetted my appetite for going deeper into the lines that could be connected to an excellent scotch… and soon enough I did stumble on to not one but three lines that – and by this time I had already taken a few sips of Black Dog – made me smile.
John Hansell quotes lines attributed to Anon:
One whisky is alright.
Two are too many.
Three are too few!
Well, Mark Twain too said something that is similar to the emotion in the three lines that Hansell recollected: “Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.”
So even I decided to convert the lines into some sort of a tribute to the trapped sunlight in my glass, and I wrote:
Truth enters the glass holding BD
To travel through my senses
And bring me closer to truth!
Well, the lines may sound much like a haiku that is Japanese but then the world is getting smaller and Irish scotch is surely nearer to us all today. I would even go to the extent of saying that a smooth scotch has the power to bring the world closer and make it a friendlier place to live in.
02 March 2013