Patricia Noonan finds poetry in a glass…

Writers’ Tears is a liquid ode to both the whiskey world and the world of Irish literature. The famed gift of the gab isn’t just a byproduct of Ireland’s historic production of the hard stuff, but the decades of ground breaking literary gifts to the world, from poets William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Seamus Heany to George Bernard Shaw, Joyce, and many modern writers too numerous to mention.

Last year, I had the opportunity to meet with Bernard Walsh, founder of Walsh Whiskey, while he was in Toronto in the pre-COVID19 world, to taste and talk about Walsh Whiskey. Now, more than ever, is a time to connect with loved ones, despite the difficulties we face, especially on days with special meaning. There are ways to mark this time differently.

With that in mind, new packaging on Walsh Whiskeys draws the eyes with picasso-esque graffiti style line drawings of some of those literary giants. They’re on the box as a tip to connect with the past during our strange present day. Perhaps it’s time to have a virtual literary night with glass in hand, for a real celebratory feel with friends, as we soldier on. 

While re-tasting Writer’s Tears, the name of the whiskey made me recall my university days, studying literature and specifically, a class on Yeats. Our professor, an older gentleman who seemed to hail from a hippie-biker type world in looks, was quiet, eloquent, yet getting on in years. He read this poem, throwing his heart and soul into it, weeping while he got to the end, while the class looked and listened on in pin drop silence. I couldn’t help but think that this is what great literature does. So with a glass in hand, shared with loved ones, a favourite story or poem this St. Patrick’s Day, or any day, for that matter. I’m enjoying… Writer’s Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey ($49.95 until March 28 | LCBO# 13057).

Tasting Notes:
This golden, pot still whiskey has fruity, citrusy, honeyed aromas with full, velvety weight on the palate. It’s spicy, malty, with notes of caramel lingering into the finish.

When You Are Old

W.B. Yeats (1865-1939)

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.