Whisky cheers for St. Patrick’s Day! | Inquirer Business
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Whisky cheers for St. Patrick’s Day!

Whisky cheers for St. Patrick’s Day!

PREMIUM BOTTLE Macallan: The Harmony Collection—Contributed photo.


Happy Feast of St. Patrick!


Since Sundays are not prescribed days of fasting and abstinence even during Lent, how about we all raise a pint of Guinness or a glass of Irish whisky?!


Did you know that aside from being a bishop of Ireland and introducing Christianity to this beautiful country, legend has it that St. Patrick himself also introduced the art of distillation to Ireland?

Some sources say this took place some time after his visit to Egypt around 432. He would then introduce to Ireland the uisce beatha or the ‘water of life’—the Gaelic name for whisky, allegedly given by the Irish monks, derived from the Old Irish uisce (water) and bethu (life). Others say this legend is not true at all, with no evidence of St. Patrick visiting Egypt; and that the first reference to whisky in Ireland was way later, in 1170.

‘Water of life’

Regardless, this ‘water of life’ is something we look forward to on St. Patrick’s Day!I rish whisky is one of the earliest distilled drinks in Europe, although its first records are indeed from around the 12th century; and it is believed to indeed have been introduced by Irish monks, who brought the technique of distilling perfumes back to Ireland from their travels to southern Europe around 1,000 AD, modifying this technique to something drinkable. Come to think of it, maybe these monks who invented whisky also deserve to be saints!

READ: Irish Pride, and Dash of Politics, at St Patrick’s Parade

Another monk, Friar John Cor of Lindores Abbey in Fife, is credited for having brought whisky to Scotland, as he was granted the king’s commission to make acqua vitae or the ‘water of life’ in 1494.

All this comes to mind as Macallan introduces its latest addition to its Harmony Collection: Amber Meadow. This is a distinctive limited edition whisky “that captures the essence of Scotland’s natural beauty.” This is the third addition to Macallan’s Harmony Collection series.


The Harmony Connection is a limited annual release series that explores Macallan’s future packaging journey, inspired by their deep-rooted connection to  nature for nearly 200 years.

Each release unveils distinctive and innovative packaging that seeks to bring new life to organic by-products that have ended their usual course. It fuses innovative techniques with materials from the natural world at the end of their life to see them reborn with a renewed purpose.

Limited series

For Amber Meadow, the packaging collaboration was done by sisters Stella McCartney (the designer) and Mary McCartney (the photographer), showcasing “a creative fusion of curiosity, respect and admiration for the Scottish landscape.”Amber Meadow, released only this March, is a single malt that is described by whisky maker Steve Bremner as depicting “warm meadows and mature barley fields, culminating in a rich, citrus-scented finish.”

He adds, “The whisky boasts a 100-percent natural summer evening color, derived from exceptional cask aging. On the nose, fresh citrus fruits and honeysuckle harmonize with hints of vanilla, coconut and ripe barley fields. Tasting notes reveal prominent flavors of oak, lemon, melon, classic scone, almond and green tea, leading to a rich and sweet long finish.”

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Since this isn’t Irish whisky, in deference to St. Patrick, maybe we can enjoy this tomorrow. Or maybe he won’t mind. After all, regardless of nationality, we can all enjoy the water of life! (But the Bread of Life is better—don’t forget to go to Holy Mass today!)

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Whisky cheers! INQ

TAGS: first class, whisky

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