Whisky Advocate

Humorous whisky quotes

February 22nd, 2009

I think we could all use a good laugh right now, with all the doom and gloom going on around us.

Two weeks ago my family spent a few days in Miami warming our bones and relaxing a bit. While we were down there, the Miami Boat Show was going on. One of our friends sells boats and was down there for the show. He offered to take out in one of his company’s demo boats. It was a beautiful day, so we took him up on his offer.

While we were out on the boat, we started talking with the captain who was running the boat. Eventually he found out we publish a whisky magazine. I asked him if he drinks whisky and he nodded yes. He hesitated for a brief moment and then replied:

The last time I turned down a whisky, I didn’t understand the question.

I thought that was pretty funny. Then, later on, as we were bringing the boat back into the dock, we got to talking about whisky again, when he came up with this one:

The last time I drank whisky, I started returning things I never stole.

We liked that one too! Some famous writer or poet probably came up with these quotes. I can’t imagine they were his original sayings, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.

So, how about you? Do you have a humorous whisky quote you would like to share with us, and perhaps brighten up our day a little?

25 Responses to “Humorous whisky quotes”

  1. JC Skinner says:

    Winston Churchill, nobel laureate at war and humour, is the master of the bon mot, and had a couple related to his impressive capacity for whisky:
    “The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learnt to like it.”
    Or to his son: “Haven’t you learned yet that I put something more than whisky into my speeches?”
    But in deference to my nationality, I do like the suggestion that God invented whiskey so that the Irish would never take over the world!
    Personally, British comic Tommy Cooper’s one-liner is my favourite:
    “I’ve been on the whisky diet – I’ve already lost three days!”

  2. John Hansell says:

    JC, Thanks for those. I am familiar with the “whisky diet” quote. Love it. I have used it in some of the whisky tastings I have conducted.

  3. Joe says:

    The best ever whiskey quote, by Noah “Soggy” Sweat, his famous “If by whiskey” speech:

    “My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:

    “If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

    “But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

    “This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.”

  4. David S says:

    “Get rid of the ice cream and candy,” said then-Brig. Gen. Chesty Puller, in an interview after Korea. “Give ’em beer and whiskey — that’ll help some. Get some pride in them. Tell them they’re men.”
    -according to the biography “Chesty: The Story of Lt. General Lewis B. Puller,” written by Reserve Col. Jon T. Hoffman.

  5. John Hansell says:

    Joe, that was great! David, also great words! (But I also enjoy ice cream and candy.)

  6. Leither says:

    Not such a funny one but a very true everyday quote.

    Whilst moaning about the wet weather in Scotch-land (for those that have been will understand this) an optimist will often say….

    Aye, but today’s rain is tomorrow’s whisky!

  7. Rich says:

    without question, this is my favorite whisky quote:

    “Always carry a flagon of whisky in case of snakebite, and furthermore, always carry a small snake.”
    — W. C. Fields

    and a couple more i also enjoy:

    “Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.”
    — Mark Twain

    “There are two things a Highlander likes naked, and one of them is malt whisky.”
    — Scottish proverb

    hmmm… now where did i leave my snake…?

  8. Matt Hunter says:


    Two of the best (American) quotes on whiskey:

    “Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.”

    Mark Twain

    “Tell me what brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”

    Abraham Lincoln

  9. Ray Newsom says:

    One of my personal favorites:

    If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go – Mark Twain

  10. From one of Canada’s great humourists: “It takes a good deal of physical courage to ride a horse. This, however, I have. I get it at about forty cents a flask, and take it as required.”
    – Stephen Leacock

    And one of the US’s: “No married man is genuinely happy if he has to drink worse whisky than he used to drink when he was single.”
    – H. L. Mencken

    And from the sporting side: “Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.”
    – Tug McGraw

  11. John Hansell says:

    Great quotes everyone. Here’s one I was told Johnny Carson said on the Tonight show (but I’m not sure if I believe it):

    “My favorite dinner is a steak dinner, a good bottle of scotch, and a loyal dog to eat the steak.”

  12. Lucas says:

    I have two old ones for you.

    “Gentlemen, I have just met with the most extraordinary adventure that ever occurred to a human being. As I was walking along the Grassmarket, all of a sudden the street rose up and struck me on the face.”
    – The Hon. Alexander Gordon, Lord Rockville

    “If a body could just find oot the exac proper proportion o’ the quantity that ought to be drank every day, and keep to that, I verify trow that he micht leeve forever, without dying at a’, and doctors and kirkyards would go out of fashion.”
    – James Hogg

  13. Neil Fusillo says:

    My father often, on occasion, when asked if he’d like water added to his whisky, said something along the lines of, “Water?? I’m thirsty, not dirty!”

  14. Merse says:

    I love to sing and I love to drink Scotch, but most people like to hear me drink Scotch. (George Burns)

  15. Ron says:

    I especiall liked the quote by Noah “Soggy” Sweat, but I seem to remember it being acredited to a famous statesman from Tennessee or Kentucky. Unfortunately I can’t remember his name which is what prompted me to google it. Am I mistaken?

    • Tim says:

      Yes, Ron, you are mistaken — it’s from Noah Sweat, and was delivered in the Mississippi Senate. Delivered in 1952, while Prohibition lasted until 1966, when Mississippi was the last state to repeal. His antipathy, thus, was as common as it was distinctive and colorful.
      Sweat later served with distinction as a judge, and is credited as the founder of the Mississippi Judicial College at the University of Mississippi (Oxford) law school.

  16. Mithun says:

    This one is good too…

    “Whiskey.. is sunlight, held together by water….”

  17. Mithun says:

    This one too..

    “Reality is merely an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol…”

  18. Elina says:

    “What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for.”

    my personal favourite and, oh, so true..

  19. Daniel Charlesworth says:

    “May the enemies of Ireland never eat bread nor drink whiskey, but be tormented with itching without benefit of scratching.” (Irish toast)

  20. Micheal says:

    (From a Marine bar Jacksonville NC)
    “I only stop serving whiskey when they can’t get their hand over the top of the bar.”

© Copyright 2017. Whisky Advocate. All rights reserved.