Spider Robinson on "Writer's Tears" Irish whiskey

[Read the post]

1 Like

“Don’t you know there ain’t no Devil, there’s just God when he’s drunk.”
–Tom Waits


“This tastes to me a bit like the first tide pool that developed chemistry sophisticated enough to make its own alcohol.”


and… sold out. dammit.


Don’t care for the booze but mightily pleased that Spider is still here and writing to tell us about it.


My all-time favorite author recommends a whiskey, and the site he recommends buying it from can’t ship to Canada. Which is ironic, as said author lives in Canada ( and has given writer’s workshops at my local library! ).

Going to have to find somewhere else to buy this apparently magical liquor.

Also the ‘so many of his books’ link is totally borked for me.

You think you have it bad? Texas liquor laws were apparently written by the Ottoman Empire’s Grand Vizier’s Chief Obfuscator! There’s a reason Texas is so vast. If it were any easier to get out of, people would be heading for wetter pastures left and right.

1 Like

It puzzles and amuses me a little that “uisge baugh” has gone down almost universally in US folklore as the source word for whiskey - the Irish and Scots Gaelic is uisce beatha. I suppose it’s classic telephone game - a bit like how the word whiskey itself originated. :wink:

If anyone managed to find this please let me know, I had no luck…

Usquebaugh is both Irish and Scottish Gaelic for Whiskey, which came from Uisce Beatha (Irish) or Uisge Beatha (Scottish). “uisge baugh” seems to be a mangling of the two terms (or maybe an intermediary form).

Here ya go:

1 Like

This sounds like a good find, Cory, and reasonably priced. There are some bottles not far from me, I’ll be picking one up. At $49.99 CDN, it’s cheaper than at MoM. Next time you’re in New Brunswick, stock up, eh.

Yes, well. . . at $65 a bottle . . . I have to think “do I buy one bottle of this or six bottles of cheap scotch and just cry in it myself?”


The big revelation here is that Master of Malt apparently ships to my state, which is empowering and terrifying, given that I’ve come to assume that alcohol can’t be shipped here.

Where is this $10 scotch you know of??

Used to buy Tullamore Dew for $14/bottle – Its distilled and blended at Jameson, in middleton. Near that old potstill Cory used a photo of. There are only two distilleries of note in Ireland, so this is either a Jameson or a Bushmills variant. As Spider likes Bushmills, I’d guess its there?

Aside from a very colorful “I like it” – I’ve got nothing to go on. The guy likes Bushmills and that doesn’t make me want to buy whiskey from him.


To be fair, I’ve been known to pick up some Old Crow when the bourbon money isn’t pouring in, and that stuff’s anywhere from $7 to $10 for a bottle. It’s not great, but it isn’t terrible, either.

1 Like

It’s a lot easier to justify buying expensive whiskey in Canada, because the cheap stuff just isn’t that cheap. The cheapest (full size) bottle of whiskey you can buy in quebec is $24 for Canadian Club, at which point there’s not much reason not to spend a couple bucks to go a bit upmarket

So at Middleton there are 3 working stills, in series. All the liquor is distilled in the same place at the same time – regardless of it going into Tullamore Dew, Jameson, Redbreast, Midleton or any of the other over 100 labels they distill and blend for, there.

The difference between Midleton, arguably their proudest blend, and Jameson which is their most produced, is simply quantities from which barrels, whom sat for how long and evaporated, what quantities are mixed? Triple distilled, you’ll find all whiskey from Midleton is. All the marketing buzz is just buzz, the booze is the same with the only variations being time cask.

The trick to this all, while it involves some amazing technique, science and skill – is really yield management.

Again, all I’ve got to go on with this stuff is “I drank Bushmills before and liked it.” which is not me. I keep Jameson and Midleton around. I prefer the Jameson, frankly.


Jameson is my favourite for a basic whiskey (makes much nicer sours than bourbon as well), the 12 year old is really nice on it’s own, as is Crested Ten.

Writer’s Tears appears to be a Walsh label. Walsh has an agreement where Irish Whiskey Distillers (JAMESON) distills for them.

1 Like

I’m in Dallas and have no problem getting my Jameson Gold. Are you stuck on one of our dry counties?

1 Like