ORIGINAL SPIRITS: McCARTHY’S SINGLE MALT WHISKEY

ORIGINAL SPIRITS: McCARTHY’S SINGLE MALT WHISKEY Tuesday, July 19, 2011

James Bond drinks Martinis. Oprah drinks Moscow Mules. But you know who drinks whiskey? Writers (mostly men and mostly dead: i.e. James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and, very famously, William Faulkner). The ever-polytropic American aphorist, humorist and novelist Mark Twain once wrote, Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.

We, responsibly, concur.

And of all whiskeys, Scotch whiskey is the whiskey. It’s so whiskey, in fact, that it’s whisky—the “e” has been dropped. In fact, true Scotch-drinking Scots believe that if the whiskey is marketed with an “e,” then the whiskey doesn’t come from the island, meaning that they whiskey’s Yankee, and not worth drinking at all.

And this puts us Yanks in a tight spot. Sure, we make—and drink—our fair share of whiskey, but what’s a carbon-conscious connoisseur to do when he or she wants to enjoy a finger or two of Scotch without the troubles, tariffs and hassles of importing the most urbane and sophisticated of all spirits?

That’s where Clear Creek, Portland’s distillers of Northwest spirits, comes in. Each year, Clear Creek produces a very limited batch of what they call McCarthy’s Single Malt Whiskey, a Lagavulin-like, 85-proof, single-peat-malted barley spirit fermented in a wash of unhopped beer at Widmer Brothers Brewing, and then barrel-aged for three years in old sherry casks and aged Oregon oak barrels.

In fact, the folks at Clear Creek say “(O)ur whiskey would be a single-malt scotch if Oregon were Scotland.”

The only trouble is, once this once-a-year whiskey hits the streets in June, it’s quickly gone.

Luckily, for you, our most knowledgable tipplers, The Original scampered and scored six cases of the stuff, which we suggest—when you’re in the mood for a treat—you best enjoy neat, or maybe with just a cube or two of ice.