We all love great whiskey, but I've always said that the whiskey you really remember is going to be the one you enjoyed with friends or on an especially important occasion - the birth of a child, the time you toured a distillery with your best friends or your future spouse. But good whiskey can also be memorable when it served as a comfort in hard times.
In response to one of my posting on Very Old Fitzgerald, Bill Cowern sent me the following story of his memories of drinking some Very Old Fitz:
In 1967-1968, I was a marine helicopter pilot in northern I corp. South Vietnam. I was fortunate enough to get a R&R to Hawaii in February of 68, to meet up with my wife. On the flight back to Vietnam, we stopped to refuel in Guam and I bought a bottle of Very Very Old Fitzgerald for $15 or $20 in the duty free shop there on base. I had always remembered it as being labeled 25 years old but it could be that 50 years has dulled that memory. Regardless when I returned to the base I was assigned to, in Dong Ha, I opened the bottle when we were under mortar attack one night and could not believe what a smooth soothing whiskey it was. Like nothing I had ever tried before, or since. We had slit trenches under our wooden hooches and trap doors in the floors to allow us to be below ground during attacks. It became a routine for four of us that we would have a half jigger of the bourbon whenever we were under attack. After a while we used to joke about how we wished they would attack. The bottle lasted about one month, but I, obviously, have never forgotten it. Thank you for resurrecting the memories.
Thanks to Bill for sharing his story, certainly one of the best bourbon stories I've had the pleasure of hearing.
Happy New Year to all and here's to having great (but maybe less dangerous) bourbon stories in the future!