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20151024_122500 1Bessie Braddock, a Labour Party politician and member of the British Parliament, became frustrated with Prime Minister Churchill who appeared in session slightly unsteady and bearing a slur that was much more pronounced than usual.

“Winston,” she chided, “You are drunk, and what’s more you are disgustingly drunk.”

And still, Churchill proved his worth to the nation in a moment’s notice. He proved that even while saddled with delayed senses, he was swifter than all the rest. The complexity of his intellect and the exactitude of his vernacular, no matter his condition, proved that he was exactly the kind of leader a nation needs at the helm during the storms; the one the citizens require at the gates when the enemy approaches.

bessie-braddock“Bessie, my dear,” the hindered Churchill offered so casually before the awaiting crowd, “You are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.”

Yes, I know that wasn’t nice, but it made you smile a little, didn’t it? Had this happened in recent history, with the new Nazi party on patrol in America – that is, the political correctness brigade – we most likely would have watched this hilarious exchange on C-Span or YouTube one day only to see Churchill forced by his fellows to apologize on Fox News the very next – most likely slurring his words once again. And yet, by way of responding with such a startling retort, Churchill prevented further offenses. From what we know, Ms. Braddock simply gasped and left the room in a huff. That’s really all she could do. I mean, what do you say in response? The only thing left to say would most certainly have had the TV censors hitting the “bleep” button a few hundred times while Braddock threw a tantrum and pretty much anything else within her grasp in the smirking Sir Winston’s general direction.

Churchill_portrait_NYP_45063To be honest, knowing a little about Braddock’s politics, the only thing that really troubles me about the exchange is the plausibility that Churchill’s slovenly demeanor that day could very well be attributed to Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky. It is pretty well noted by the biographers that the Red Label was his preferred liquor. It bothers me that Sir Winston preferred this stuff.

It’s not completely bad, but it in no way rises to the levels of most other selections on the shelf. In fact, in my opinion, if you can just get past the nose, you’ll be okay. Better yet, skip the nosing. That’s the key to getting through the experience.

If you decide to disregard my advice, just know in advance that the nose is heavily medicinal. I mean, if you actually get down to the glass and draw in a reasonable gust, you’ll feel like you just inhaled the fumes from a nearby pharmaceutical company’s exhaust vent. It’s definitively unpleasant.

The palate is a little better. Not great, just better. There’s a little bit of something sweet at first, but it turns too quickly on a peat brick for proper identification. If I had to guess, I’d say sassafras, which would also explain the medicinal characteristics. I know that Native Americans used sassafras for treating wounds.

The finish is long, oily, and warm. Too long. Too oily. Too warm.

If only Sir Winston would have lived long enough to see the blends of his day eclipsed by the wonderful variety of single malts, then he would have had a much wider selection. But then again, who knows. All we know is that a great man liked a less-than-great Scotch. We can at least thank Johnnie Walker for its inspirational relevance.