The Complete Lunatic's Guide to the 5 Best Sipping Whiskeys

You're not operating under any false pretenses here: You're an asshole. The only things you truly love are yourself, the cardinal sins, and fine whiskey. And you're okay with that. But you're sick and tired of grabbing a Kentucky Bourbon and getting into a fistfight with a bicycle courier, when you should be sipping a nice Single Malt and watching mail-order Russian brides wrestle for the imitation diamonds that you threw on the floor. If only there were some way to know what type of whiskey pairs well with the specific kind of irredeemable asshole that you are! Unfortunately, whiskey is like madness - its exact effects will vary depending on family history, mental state, and pattern of drug use - but here's a rough starter guide to help ensure you're the right kind of dickhead drunk tonight:

Maudlin, Repressed Jerk

Bushmill's '70s porn title-sounding Black Bush is definitely a member of the Bushmill's line, but with a more distinguished character than its common counterpart. It also comes in a fancy cardboard tube that will utterly fail to convince the liquor store attendant that you're an "aficionado" instead of a "sobbing drunk."


Wood, leather, and sherry. It reminds you of your grandfather's library (before he killed himself in there and your great aunt had it sealed up because she couldn't take the memories).


Light and fruity, just like Mickey Swarsdon, that kid in middle school who you ridiculed mercilessly for his lisp. And who you then stalked just as mercilessly, secretly dreaming of his touch while you sat in the bushes outside the Round Table where his family ate after soccer games.

The Argument You're Going To Get In

Your night will be sexually charged and confusing, followed by a touch of resentment at a life repressed, with some light afternotes of morbid nostalgia. You will make one too many subtly homophobic jokes, and in defending yourself, you'll only make it worse. You will be quietly shunned by the rest of the table.

Who You'll End Up Fighting

An old man telling war stories to the bartender just a bit too loudly.

But don't assume you'll win: He once did for sixteen Japs with their own gat dang machine gun.

His eyes will be glazed over as he alternately reminisces on the camaraderie and regrets the atrocities of wartime. Something about his cadence of speech will remind you of your grandfather and the confusion you felt at his passing. You will headlock him by the dumpsters when he steps out to smoke, and that will go swimmingly for about two minutes, but then the drunk will turn on you and you'll end up internally mixing a cocktail of familial grief and childhood sexuality. They'll find you partially inside a trash can, half-hugging a scared old man while sobbing something about Mickey Swarsdon's beautiful little hands.

Who You're Going Home With

A she-male. She will steal your wallet, but the joke's on her: Those cards are long maxed out, and your debit card only links to an account with seventy four dollars in overdraft charges. That's her debt now. Score!


The conflicting excitement and shame of childish sexuality. And some banana.

Closet Racist

Distilled in 1830s Kentucky, Bulleit's original recipe vanished abruptly, along with its founder, Augustus Bulleit, while traveling from Louisville to New Orleans. Revived by his great-great-grandson in 1987, Bulleit is a classic Kentucky Bourbon aged in oak barrels and flavored with the sudden, mysterious disappearances of southern gentlemen.


Notes of vanilla and rye, with just a touch of hobo (but the good kind of hobo: Like that old Asian guy who's always yelling about young love to passing couples on the street, not like that big black dude that stabbed you in the calf last winter when you stepped on his hand).


A sharp, sour alcohol impression followed by a dark, burnt, oaky smoothness.

The Argument You're Going to Get In

Your night will begin jovially enough: Joking loudly and crassly with your co-workers at a familiar dive bar. Eventually, a friendly argument will sprout between two of your fellows concerning what, exactly, belongs on top of a hamburger. It will quickly turn ugly when you manage to turn what starts out as a hilarious, quirky diatribe against onions into a cruel and biting rant about the state of the black man in America. It is a segue that surprises even you.

Who You'll End Up Fighting

The bartender (he's black, and he fucking loves onions).

Who You're Going Home With

The bartender again. Because this is the kind of beating that's going to last a long, long while.

That this is the first place your mind goes for "black bartender" is kind of the issue, really.

You have inadvertently sparked the kind of racial blood feud that could only end amicably if you somehow saved his life while trapped in a basement with two hillbillies, a gimp and a samurai sword.


A sickly sweet vanilla, which, incidentally, will be the bartender's pet name for you over the coming weeks.

Unfaithful Husband and Pervert

Hailing from the Scottish island of Islay, Laphroaig had its beginnings in small, illegal stills, like Scottish moonshine, but eventually grew to be a respected and esteemed establishment, like a Scottish Red Lobster.


A strong smokiness dominates Laphroaig, mercilessly grinding out any other softer, weaker notes.


Earthy and unpretentious but utterly dominant. Like it knows. Like it knows you've been bad.

The Argument You're Going To Get In

You're not going to get in any arguments, largely because of the ball-gag she put in your mouth about two hours ago. You met her downstairs, in the lobby bar of the Ramada Inn that your shitty office supply company put you up in for this two-day conference. You would've argued against the trip when you were younger, but these days you leap at any chance to get away from your ugly wife and hateful children. You got to talking to some pretty blonde over drinks, where you were utterly charmed by her sultry, forceful ways; she was presumably wooed by how much you know about printers.

Who You'll End Up Fighting

Oh, nobody! Nobody at all. You're handcuffed to this radiator so tight, you can barely move.

"Beat me! Belittle me! BURN ME! I've been so nau-wait, do you think this might be getting a little out of hand?"

You'll just have to do whatever you're told. Whatever anybody tells you to do.

Who You're Going Home With

Shit, you might never go home again if this girl keeps working it like - is she going for your stuff? She is! Oh yeah, the belt. The belt, baby. Or...the wallet? You guess that's uh, that's pretty good too. It's leather, at any rate. If she rears up enough, maybe gets a running start, you could leave a pretty good mark with a wallet.


A peaty, mellow burn, which will go nicely with the burning shame you'll fell as you give your statement to the police the next morning, naked save for an emergency blanket and the perfectly knotted tie you had her Double Windsor around your junk before she made off with your clothes and petty cash.

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Robert Brockway

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