“Have you ever heard of someone volunteering to be a Whiskey Taster?“
It was August of 2006 as I sat in my seat on the jet looking out upon the beautiful green hills and fields of Northern Ireland as we were descending to land in Belfast Airport. It had been twenty years since I had visited and the anticipation of seeing all my family again was overwhelming.
The nervousness of coming alone did not last very long as my cousins embraced me at the airport and promised “this would be a trip to remember”! Oh how right they were!
One day to recover from jetlag and the sightseeing was about to begin!! Upon entering the hotel dining room I could see all my cousins, in a group, discussing ‘where shall we take her”? It was decided that the Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim was just the right venue for today since facility offered a grand tour of this well known tourist attraction.
It was a wonderful day touring through the Old Bushmills Distillery and learning how the many whiskies are made.
While on our tour, the guide asked for a show of hands from volunteers who might want to participate in a ‘whiskey tasting event’!
Without hesitation my enthusiastic cousin had raised her hand very aggressively and we were chosen immediately.
Now, I am mostly a social drinker and upon sipping that second drink, I am starting to feel the effects. There is the occasional glass of wine and the odd drink when out with friends.
Now this was going to be some serious drinking!!!!
My cousin, Irene and I were invited to sit at a table with ’12’ small shot glasses of different types of whiskey in front of us. We were asked to taste them, one at a time, and then asked to grade them. This was all done in front of an audience of all the people who accompanied us on the tour of the building, including all my cousins!
As Irene and I gulped down each shot glass of whiskey, the crowd would roar with laughter! It had to be the funniest site and actually the funniest thing I’ve ever done.
Needless to say, you can imagine how ‘happy’ I felt by the time the tasting was finished and Irene and I had to stand up to walk away from that table!!! I know there are photos somewhere!!!
To this day, I can’t remember which brand of whiskey I chose as my favourite!!
The final outcome of this hilarious Whiskey Tasting event was a very treasured certificate that states that I am a “Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster”!!
Out of all or any certificates I could ever hope to earn, this has to be my most cherished of all! The memories of that day will last a lifetime!