May 9, 2011

Women, Whiskey, and Stereotypes

Category: Life — Cranky @

On Sunday I stopped in a liquor store to purchase some scotch as a gift. In the end I chose a bottle of Laphroaig quarter cask, one I know the recipient has enjoyed in the past. I brought it to the counter, and the teller was a young woman, somewhere in her late teens or possibly very early twenties.

“I bought a bottle of this last week – it’s amazing,” she said.

I had no idea what to say. That made no sense at all to me, so I shook my head and said, “Are you sure?”

A little information might benefit the audience here. If you’re the kind of person who likes Canadian whiskey, such as Crown Royal, or bottles such as Gibson’s Finest, you should understand that these are delicate, fruity “suggestions” at whiskey. They sit obediently in a mix, and do not call attention to themselves. They ask little of the drinker, and offend nobody.

Laphroaig… ah, Laphroaig. Imagine somebody took a hefty, charred tree branch from a forest fire, dipped it into a peat bog, and then smashed you in the face with it. You’ve just imagined your first taste of Laphroaig. It has massive flavour, mixes with nothing but water, and demands your full attention. For those who have grown to appreciate it, it is a wonderfully complex, unique whiskey, and if you followed it up with a shot of Gibson’s, you wouldn’t taste a thing.

Women do not like Laphroaig.

So you can understand my confusion, and why I asked for confirmation from the young lady.

“Oh yes. I was told it was smoky but wow – it was like drinking a campfire. Loved it.”

So there it was. I was in the presence of possibly the coolest young lady ever. Certainly she rocked, and rocked in the top 5 percentile of rocking.

I said, “You’re the only woman I’ve ever met who likes this.” The next person in line was an older lady, certainly in her 50s, and she said, “I like single malts, but I can’t drink that.”

A little idle chit-chat ensued, and I closed with, “You made my day.” An interesting moment, no doubt.