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It’s Saturday during my Christmas break, the one bit of down time I’ve been eagerly anticipating since September, and I’ve been dreadfully ill since Tuesday.

The whole break is spent. Go figure.

It started with some pretty incredible chest pain. It was so bad, in fact, that I thought I might’ve been having a heart attack. Nevertheless, I took some Tylenol and went to bed. I know my eternal fate, and so with that, I figured that if Jennifer discovered the next morning that I was dead, she’d be sad, but she knows it, too, and in the meantime she’d be able to collect on a life insurance policy that would make life a little bit easier.

I’m definitely worth more dead than alive.

But I didn’t die. I woke up Wednesday morning, and apparently at some point during the night, I’d traded my chest pain for full-body aches, an irritating cough, a massive headache, skin and muscle sensitivity, and chills. I must have been swindled in that midnight exchange because I’d gladly take the chest pain over the way I’m feeling right now.

Needless to say, the only real positive thing I have to share with you about this long-anticipated but swiftly shattered time of rest is that while I’ve lost my taste for all things edible, I haven’t lost my taste for whisky, which is why I’m actually willing to steam forward and write a review for you even in my current state of abysmal anguish.

It’s all for you, friends.

And me, too, I guess. Whisky is medicinal, you know. Seriously. Whisky has ellagic acid, which is an anti-oxidant that absorbs rogue cells in the blood stream. Among the many gatherings of data, a Harvard University study and “The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” both settled on what they would call “beneficial drinking,” which is defined as seven drams a week, or at least one dram a day. Doing this, they say, reduces the risk of heart disease and heart failure. It’s a good thing I’m pretty much on track with what they discovered, which is probably why I didn’t die on Tuesday night. And there’s an additional perk here. Because the National Institute of Health discovered that folks who keep to such a regimen are half as likely to get dementia, which means I’m not likely to forget to thank the Lord above for not calling me home just yet on Tuesday night.

Also, and finally, whisky fights common cold and flu infections. Funny thing is, this is nothing new to anyone who spends time enjoying whisky. We’ve known it for years. Like five hundred years to be a bit more precise. Truly. Take a look at the following paragraph from page eight in Volume VI of Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland published in 1586. He gives a pretty explicit listing of everything whisky (or “aqua vitae” as they called it during his day) is good for curing. I’ll wait right here while you read. And have fun with the Old English, by the way.

Click the image for readability.

There’s a lot of stuff in that list, eh? As I said before, no surprise here. Of course, today we know a little bit more about why whisky is a formidable foe for such pesky human ailments, namely the common cold and the frightful flu. Whisky dilates blood vessels, which means that more ellagic-toting plasma can make its way through the system shackling the bad guys, while at the same time, the mucus membranes open up more widely allowing for the body to deal a little more conclusively with the residual gunk. I’m living proof of the science. I rarely get sick. So when I do—like right now—you can pretty much guarantee it’s not the flu, but rather I’ve been infected by an otherworldly microbe that fell from space and is trying to gestate in my abdomen. But even as it does, my daily regimen of whisky is making it far too difficult for the xenomorph to actually grow into a mature chest-burster. Although, it sure felt like the little bugger was close to hatching the other night, which is why I fought the good fight with a dram of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask before tucking myself into bed.

Today’s medicine is a little sampling of the 2012 edition of the Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve which I received from my pal, George, in Canada. But before I share my thoughts, you need to know that Forty Creek and I haven’t gotten along too well in the past. In my opinion, it pretty much always has a caustic exit from the bottle, and it’s one that lingers through each of the stages of review.

Unfortunately, this time it was no different. The first gale across the nose is a briny mixture of alcohol and vinegar from a jar of mild peppers. This doesn’t mix well with what seems to be a secondary gust of wood spice and caramel. It leaves the impression that the wood is rotting and the caramel is spoiled.

The palate is considerably better, offering up some rye, a scrap of cornbread, some buttered popcorn, and a remnant of the wood spice from the nose. All of this carries over into a medium finish that matches its beginning. Its end is sour, but it’s a stale sour, as if whatever is making it sour sat out all night on the kitchen counter when it should have been placed into the refrigerator. That kind of sour.

In the end, I’d say the whisky serves well alongside the white blood cells at the battlefront, but it’s not necessarily one that I’d recommend to anyone in search of something that will help to turn an illness-influenced frown upside down. For that, you need to look somewhere else.