"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Bushmills was distinctly involved in the St. Patrick's Day of happy memory upon which I met my wife-to-be, so I read with pleasure this tribute by WSJ editorialist William McGurn to the most ecumenical of Irish whiskeys.
How to explain to the uninitiated the glories of this smooth amber fluid? Joyce wrote of "the light music of whiskey falling into a glass--an agreeable interlude." Samuel Johnson in his Dictionary defined whiskey as a "compound distilled spirit," adding that "the Irish sort is particularly distinguished for its pleasant and mild flavour." An old Irish toast gets straight to the point: "Too much of anything is good for nothing. Too much good whiskey is barely enough." Amen.
Though the Bushmills license dates to 1608 and King James I, Brian confirms that the Irish had been producing whiskey--spelled properly here, with an "e"--for perhaps a thousand years before that. How many Jack Daniel's or Johnny Walker drinkers, I wonder, appreciate that they owe their favorite tipple to the Irish monks, who in the sixth century brought back from the Middle East the alembic used to distill perfumes but soon adapted it to much more felicitous use? Thus the still was born.