Whisky Advocate

WWOP? (What would Obama Pour?)

January 29th, 2009

I try to avoid politics when writing about whisky, but I found this one too interesting to pass up. I’m reading this article by Ian Evans for Decanter magazine. He says that online magazine

“has slammed the White House wine policy – and urged President Obama to act swifty to redress the ‘shocking’ situation.”

He goes on: 

Describing the need for change as ‘shockingly clear’, Slate journalist Mike Steinberger said the White House’s current stock of 500 bottles was ‘a pathetic example of how America’s infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate’…The preference for ‘juvenile behemoth’ fruit bombs over wines with delicacy, finesse and ageing potential, is similar to the ‘shock and awe’ tactics of the Bush regime’s foreign policy, Steinberger says. ‘The White House needs a new wine policy. Wine service during the Bush era has been hostage to a profoundly misguided strategy that has turned wine into an unnecessarily crude instrument of statecraft’.

Wow! Puts a whole new spin on Bruichladdich’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction.”  Maybe, in the name of world peace, the Obama administration should make sure there are no Rittenhouse Ryes 100 proof or Laphroaig Cask Strengths on the after dinner drinks list, but rather a much mellower Maker’s Mark or perhaps a nice, soft Dewar’s 12 year old?  😉

15 Responses to “WWOP? (What would Obama Pour?)”

  1. Lucas says:

    I think White House dinners are Laphroaig CS free anyway;) For president Obama I personally recommend:

    1. Macallan 18yo sherry cask – to regain balance
    2. Yamasaki 18yo – for good control of power
    3. Ardbeg Supernova – to help making grand statements
    4. Caol Ila 8yo – so he doesn’t forget about the young people, like me
    5. Dalmore 62yo – so he doesn’t forget about the old people, like you, John
    6. Mineral water – well, he not only has to be sober now but also should be saving taxpayers’ money, right?

  2. John Hansell says:

    Good recommendations Lucas. I have one: to demonstrate unity in the world, how about a vatting of at least one whisky from each country making whisky? (Although it might end up tasting like crap, which would give the wrong impression I suppse. We don’t want anyone thinking that world unity should “leave a bad taste in your mouth.”) 😉

  3. Kevin Meng says:

    John – you bring up an interesting idea… I’ve known people to vat two varities of whisk(e)y, but never more than that…

    Looking at the major whisk(e)y producing regions, The U.S., Canada, Ireland and Scotland – anyone have ideas for a “World Vatting”?

    I guess we could include Japan, England & India as well, and probably some others I’m blanking on right now.

    It would probably be very easy to make it taste like crap, but I’d be willing to bet some decent, if not great, combinations could be created.

  4. DavidG says:

    To Kevin’s list – add: Milford from Australia, that Tasmanian whiskey that the Malt Maniacs and Jim Murray love, Mackmyra from Sweden and Pendryn from Wales

  5. Lucas says:

    Let’s not only use whisky! In a world of unity no drink should be discriminated. Here’s my recipe for Obama Sunrise:

    A measure of French wine, some Scotch, some bourbon, a little bit of Czech lager and Irish stout, Russian vodka, sake, sambuca and port. Shake well and serve chilled;)

  6. Sam S. says:

    It’s a good thing I’m a novice since I could never appreciate that concoction. 😉

  7. Mike Dereszynski says:

    Hi John,
    Too young? Too old?
    What was it Orson Wells said? We will sell/serve no wine before its time.
    It would be nice to improve the stocks of spirits in the W.H.cellar but also to improve the opportunities of the distillers and consumers.
    I’d suggest making it easier for import/export of whiskies in the States.I look back on the days of taking my purchased single malt treasures as carry-ons with fond memories.
    It would be nice if the distillers in the States micro,craft whatever they are ,didnt have to deal with the 3 tiered wacky system, that they do now.
    In any case I wish him well and hope when he picks up his Cooley Cask Obama that it is an 8 year old not a 4 year.

  8. sam k says:

    For what it’s worth, let’s not forget that we’re Americans here, not residents of the UK. OUR WHISKEY is bourbon and rye, and comes from great distilleries along the Ohio River Valley. Let’s rejoice there first, then seek refuge in other countries’ spirits if our needs have not been fulfilled!

  9. Louis says:

    Hi John,

    While a world vatting sounds interesting, I agree with Sam on this one. What if it turns out to resemble the UN (think Rwanda and Darfur)? The world of American whisk(e)y today is so diverse, yet so many people think of only the one bourbon, usually the non-bourbon Jack Daniels, that they once tried.

    But I do think that there should be single malt scotch, along with very special blends at the White House. But rather than the purchasing the same stuff that we all can buy locally, the President shold ask foreign dignitaries to pick up duty free/ Travel Retail only bottlings (and of course, invite me to the White House to sample them as thanks for the suggestion).

    Also, I heartily recommend high octane cask strength whiskies to save on energy. The president shold be setting an exaple for the rest of the country, after all. The first daughters will have to make do with extra Polartec.

    And finally, the world of politics can learn something from whisk(e)y enthusiasts. Over the years, I have met a lot of people online and in person in pursuit of this hobby. I have no idea what political views many or most of my acquaintances hold on most political matters. And we we all know that we can sample drams for hours on end without a word of politics mixed in. So I propose that all government functions begin with a tasting session. The result might well be a ‘new world order’ in friendliness and cooperation.



  10. Todd says:

    I suggest that they start with a bottle of 2007 Five Gold Hands Rendition Zin from Alexander Valley and pour to the finish to celebrate the end of this dreadful practice….

    Followed by a round of Avery Ale to Chief Double IPA, noting from the bottle “We the Brewers of Avery Brewing Company, in order to form a more perfect ale, require a new leadership that can liberate us from our quagmires in foreign lands; embrace environmentally sound energy alternatives to imported oil; heal our ailing health care system; free us from tyrannical debt and resurrect the collapsing dollar. We hereby pledge to provide him or her with an ample amount of our Presidential Pale Ale to support in the struggle for the aforementioned goals! Hail to the New Chief!

    Not an “Imperial” pale ale, this is a democracy. It’s Presidential! Take the all-American pale ale, a bipartisan blend of malt and hops, increase to both Avery Brewing standards, and then, of course, dry hop the result with that most quintessential of American hops, Cascades, and you get this… Ale to the Chief. A brew worthy of the Oval Office! Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, hops and yeast.”

    Well said! And it’s mighty tasty too.

  11. Todd says:

    Plan B, maybe the White House could commission Bruichladdich to bottle a special “The End of Weapons of Mass Delusion” Valinch.

  12. lawschooldrunk says:

    someone should let obama know that if he prominently displays single malt, he could become a keeper of the quaich…

  13. John Hansell says:

    Only “Keepers” can nominate prospective Keepers. But, being that I have been one since the mid ’90s, I could nominate him. That would be cool…

  14. JC Skinner says:

    Surely he’d be drinking Cooley’s output? Or, he will be when he leaves the Whitehouse, so we’re told:

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