Ah that wonderful time of year is back once again; when we sit down and tot up how much of our hard earned cash we have to give back to the government.
No one likes tax season, not even accountants, and their whole lives revolve around tax and how great it is.
But tax season is no fun for anyone, and we here at Great Drams never like to see a sad face, so in order to make tax season less TAX-ing (sorry, not sorry) we’ve come up with a list of five Whiskies that will make giving your hard earned over to the government, that bit easier.
- Cardhu Gold Reserve
Original founded by smuggler John and Helen Cumming in 1824,Cardhu was a single illicit still on a farm on Mannoch Hill. It was perfect for avoiding the taxman. Helen became a legend in the Whisky game for her cunning and charm, which she used to distract the excise men when they visited. She even hid Whisky in bladders under her skirts to take to the market town of Elgin some 20 miles away. Today Cardhu is a booming distillery with a solid core range. Their Gold Reserve is part of this and is packed with sweet, fruity flavours and a lovely undertone of oak wood and malt. Perfect for distracting yourself from your own tax burdens.
While Cardhu may have had a nice spot hidden away in Speyside where excise men rarely visited, nothing quite beats Highland Park in terms of location. This distillery is perched way at the top of Scotland, in the very highest of the Highlands, on the Isle of Orkney. It was founded by smuggler Magnus Eunson, who evaded the excise men more than once, using his position as a church beadle to cleverly hide his casks. He was fond of placing them beneath the pulpit and on one occasion disguised them as a coffin, telling the excise men there had been a death due to smallpox to keep them out of the way. Highland Park’s Dark Origins is homage to Eunson and his savvy in keeping the distillery running. It is packed with peat and sweet sugary flavour that will perk you up and give you the strength you need to get through this tax season!
Originally owned by George Washington, Mount Vernon is now a big tourist attraction as well as a working distillery. it’s significance to taxes is the fact that George Washington, despite owning the biggest rye distillery in America, was also the president who introduced a Whiskey Tax. This may seem harmless enough, but rather than simply hiding their stills as the Scots would do, the American distilleries went to war. In what is now known as the Whiskey Rebellion, distillers all across the states refused to pay their tax and used violence to scare of the taxman. Unfortunately their plan did not work and most ran off as the federal army approached to deal with them. Grab a bottle of Mount Vernon’s George Washington Straight Rye for a great way to commemorate those who fought to keep whatever they could from the taxman.
Now while most of the Whiskies we’ve been looking at have a history of avoiding the taxman, the founder of The Glenlivet, George Smith, was the first distillery to embrace the new licensing act of 1823 and willingly pay his taxes. This caused him a lot of trouble, so much so that he carried a pair of pistols to defend himself from other distillers who were angry at his decision. But Smith continued to be successful, despite those who opposed him and today The Glenlivet is one of the best brands around. Grab a dram of The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, with it’s tangy citrus fruit flavours and sweet undertone, to motivate you to be as good at your taxes as George Smith was.
What better way to wave goodbye to your taxes than with a dram of Moonshine. Moonshine was traditionally, and infamously, brewed in bathtubs and the likes, and stored in whatever receptacle could be found. Today, it is a lot safer to drink than it used to be, meaning it probably won’t kill you or make you go blind. Firefly White Lightning Moonshine is a delicious corn Moonshine that won’t make you think it’s made out of furniture polish. It’s bottled (or jarred if yu consider that comes in a jam jar) at 50% as well so it isn’t as strong as some other options. Remembering the days when people would put themselves in danger to avoid paying for Whisky is the perfect way to forget all your sorrows over your taxes, and Moonshine is a great way to do that.
Also published on Medium.