Spirits of Whisky


Single malt whisky is known to have a character all its own, distinct among bottled spirits. The spirit of whisky has inspired songs, poems, and stories. It has fueled fights and peacemaking. It is at the heart of ceremonies happy and sad, grand and mundane. There are few things in human experience that can be said to move people so. The Rev. Dean Ramsey, in his 1857 Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character, commented frequently (and disapprovingly) on the place of whisky in various aspects of life:

“These were the notions of a people in whose eyes the power of swallowing whisky conferred distinction, and with whom the inability to take a fitting quantity was a mark of mean and futile character.…Sad to tell, the funeral rites of Highland chieftains were not supposed to have been properly celebrated except that there was immoderate and often fatal consumption of whisky.”

It is something that heaven itself cannot do without as well. It is well known that a portion of whisky goes missing when after maturing in casks—less comes out than what went in—a portion called the “angel’s share.”

View the score for “Spirits of Whisky.”

Share this article

Previous post

Next post

About the author

Whisky Tunes is the first online, bagpipe music tune book presented in a serial format. Tunes are collected and arranged by Vince Janoski. Vince is the former editor and publisher of The Voice, the magazine of the EUSPBA and publisher and writer for Pipehacker.com.