Whisky Advocate

Have a dram for me, please!

July 28th, 2011

The bad news: a root canal procedure I had done last year has become infected.

The good news: my dentists thinks 10 days of antibiotics will get rid of the infection.

The bad news: He told me “no alcohol while you’re on the antibiotics.”

The good news: I just might lose (what I jokingly refer to as) those “five pounds of fun” around my waistline.

The bad news: I’m going to miss drinking my whisky (and beer, and wine, and cocktails) for the next ten days.

The good news: I can still enjoy whisky over the next ten days (until August 6th) vicariously through you!

So, please feel free to post what you’re drinking here for the next ten days or so. I would appreciate it!


P.S. Fortunately, I reviewed a bunch of whiskies last week and will still be posting more reviews while I’m “on the wagon.”

83 Responses to “Have a dram for me, please!”

  1. Dutch says:

    If you Google antibiotics and alcohol, you will find there is no need to avoid one while taking the other.

    • Mark says:

      I find this piece of advice shockingly off target. As a physician I can tell you yes, there most certainly *is* need to avoid one while taking the other. But it depends on which antibiotic; not all have the antabuse-like cross reaction that will make one miserable. And trust me, I tested that theory on a bachelor party weekend once. Pure misery. Alas, impersonal Google can and does contain misinformation. Trust your physician or dentist.

  2. Gal says:

    Feel well John.
    AS a matter of fact, my throat has gotten infected, and anti B’s for me too. i think i can drink with this Anti B
    but i presume i will do very little dramming .
    so i hear your agony 😉

  3. Filip says:

    John, I had the exact same thing happen and I asked my dentist and she said having a drink or two was not a problem. I think what they are worried about is any ill effects from the anti-biotics and the alcohol. That probably depends on the person, but personally it’s never been an issue.

    It’s also not bad from an infection standpoint as alcohol does kill bacteria. I’m no expert, but I bet having a dram during those 10 days is probably not an issue.

  4. Ed says:

    Sorry to hear about that John. Last night it was Compass Box The Peat Monster for me 🙂

  5. John Hansell says:

    Okay, based on the comments above, I will elaborate a little more on my reason for abstinence. I, too, googled “alcohol and antibiotics” and read all the reports and recommendations. (If I’m not going to enjoy a drink, there better be a good reason for it!) You are right, there is no evidence that I could find to prove that alcohol decreases the efficacy of the antibiotices.

    What I DID read was that alcohol can enhance/increase the side effects of the the antibiotics (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.). And ever since I started taking them at lunch yesterday, I have been tolerating, but struggling with, symptoms of nausea. I don’t want to take the risk of feeling any worse. (I’m not a big fan of throwing up…).

  6. Bob Siddoway says:

    I know this is a whisk(e)y blog, but I will be having some nice Malbec tonight since you can’t. Best wishes, John!

  7. Sean says:

    Get well soon!

    To aid in your vicarious drinks appreciation: I haven’t been drinking anything esoteric lately (grad school salaries don’t afford much opportunity to drink at the high end of the price spectrum), but living near a great farmer’s market does mean that summertime provides a wealth of fresh, delicious fruit. Homemade brandied cherries in a rye whiskey Manhattan are wonderful thing. 🙂

  8. ps says:

    planning on talisker 18yr tonight. will toast to you john!

  9. mongo says:

    john, i am in solidarity with your plan. i will be emailing you my mailing address shortly. i assume you will want me to drink only the best whiskies from your collection during this trying time. to be safe, you might want to send a month’s worth–god forbid the infection should spread and you should have to go to the ups office again with all that pain.

  10. John,
    We have a family reunion this weekend, of which one night is dedicated to a wine tasting & another a whisk(e)y tasting. I promise to keep you in my thoughts as we sample the beautiful brown spirit!

  11. As a frequent and necessary user of antibiotics, I’d recommend stocking up on some ginger ale for the next ten days. Helps quite a bit with the stomach. If you’re not in the mood for something fizzy then I’d recommend a ginger tea. I’ve had some bad nausea on ciprofloxacin and they really help to quell it.

  12. Greg says:

    John – let’s hope you recover before the 10 days are out. Since you asked, last night was a 9 year, Old Grand Dad Bonded, bottled in 1981. Superb.

  13. lawschooldrunk says:

    Wait a second. You worked out at the beginning of the year. What do you mean, “5 pounds of fun?” Haven’t you been keeping up your exercise regime?

    Why don’t commenters tell us how they are exercising along with what drams they are drinking?

    • John Hansell says:

      I injured my foot a couple weeks back, which added a few pounds. Prior to that, I was biking, walking and lifting weights. No walking yet, and I am starting to do some slow bike rides. Still lifting.

  14. bgulien says:

    That’s nothing… I got the message from the doctor to lay off the alcohol for ever if I want to live some more years.
    So now I have to search for a nice home for my unopened bottles.

  15. Sam says:

    Longmorn and Dailuaine mostly on the scotch side. Buffalo Trace and Elmer T Lee on the bourbon side.

    And since lawschooldrunk wanted to know and I actually have an answer it’s riding the exercise bike for 30 mins every day. Not sure it’s helping though……

  16. Scribe says:

    John, exploring the Irish side of life with some Knappogue Castle 16, and enjoying the new experience…will toast to your full recovery this evening (as if I need a reason to enjoy another dram!) Be well!

  17. two-bit cowboy says:

    In honor of your circumstance (and because we just received our case yesterday), I’ve tried the 200th Anniversary bottling of Jura 21 years old. Pretty stunning. Bananas Foster, rich nut oil, and more. Most unusual, and mighty tasty. Heal well.

  18. H.Diaz says:

    Polished off a bottle of MacPhail’s Collection distilled at Glenrothes 8 y/o last night. Excellent value. For tonight, picked up a Liter of Balvenie’s Doublewood 12 y/o at duty free. Cheers, John.

  19. Louis says:

    Since you have just reviewed the Laphroaig Cairdeas and Kilchoman Spring 2011 release, I will set aside my ‘no peat in the summer’ policy and sample my bottles of both. Not sure how I was going to hold out until November anyway. Also, I will try the Hudson Four Grain that I picked up at the Tuthilltown distillery which my wife and I visited on our way home from the Catskill mountains last weekend.



  20. Red_Arremer says:

    Off for a summer evening walk with a friend– Standard Dewars on ice in a canteen…

  21. Ben says:

    Doesn’t alcohol have curative and restorative powers? I also thought it was a wonderful disinfectant. Wouldn’t whisk(e)y solve your your problem rather than compound it? (This is why I leave medicine to doctors . . .)

    A friend and I, both Scotch drinkers, decided this would be the summer to experiment with bourbon. So I’ve been drinking Makers Mark 46, Eagle Rare Single Barrel, Four Roses (Yellow Label) Jim Beam Black, Knob Creek, and Very Old Barton BIB, just to name a few. Each is certainly enjoyable in its own way, and comparing them has been fun. But I have to say my favorite, given flavor for the money, is Old Grand Dad BIB. It’s really tasty and packs a tremendous punch, all for $20. Call me an ignorant sinner, but there it is.

    Regards from Chicago. Feel better soon!

  22. Ethan Smith says:

    I’m cheap so what I’ve been drinking is:

    Old Grand Dad BIB
    Mellow Corn BIB
    Rittenhouse BIB
    Gin and Tonics
    and a few other assorted “bottom and mid-shelfers.”

    Get well soon!

  23. Nate says:

    I’ll be going on a much needed vacation next week and cracking a Bruichladdich 30 YO 1973. I tasted it once rather a while ago and found it remarkably summery, complex and citrusy. I can’t wait to do some damage to a bottle and really get to know it.

  24. timd says:

    In your honor I mixed my pleasure (over 2 evenings):
    Bulleit Rye (just OK, but minty fresh!)
    Hacienda De Chihuahua Sotol Anejo (wow! Amazing…)
    Springbank 10/100 (will be immediately replaced)
    Weller 12

    If you’ve never had Sotol, despite the lowish ABV, it’s one to check out! I’m good with Plata, Repesado & Anejo – but as a whisk(e)y fan first and foremost, I really do prefer the Rep & Anejo more than the silver.

    Heal fast and feel better!

    • Josh West says:

      I’ve had the reposado of that Sotol and for some reason it tasted like those valentine’s day candy hearts! Not saying thats a bad thing — I enjoyed it.

  25. Chris says:

    These are the bottles that I’m planning on drinking from in the next week or two.
    Dalwhinnie 15
    Mortlach 16 F&F
    Eagle Rare 10 (maybe the best value in bourbon)
    Sometime next week, I’m also going to finally crack one of my Renegade Rum (from Murray McDavid) bottles. Feel better.

  26. MaltExplorer says:

    I’ll be doing a Speyside, cask strength, cherry matured sampling tonight – Aberlour A’bunadh batch 31, Glenfarclas 105, and Macallan 10yo CS. Looking forward to it…

  27. thomas mckenzie says:

    I myself will be having a pour of Old Taylor from 1986 this weekend, and get this John. I know you like wine too. I have a bottle of barbera that was grown and made in the finger lakes. I will let you know how it tatses.

  28. Gary says:

    Last night it was a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA. I love hops.

  29. bj reed says:

    Well, lets see – so far this week

    Mortlach Signatory
    Lochnagar Signatory (both Binny’s vintages)
    Glenfarclas 105 (not the 40 YO version unfortunately)
    Talisker 12 YO cask
    Glenmorangie 10
    Cardhu 12

  30. Gllaguno says:

    Hello John!

    I feel your pain of abstinence. We’ll I’m flying to Playa del Carmen for the Week and I was thinking to carry with me one light and fresh single malt, I choose Glenkinchie, I’d tried before the 10yo, and now I will try the 12. Every sip will be to your health!
    I found a bottle on a local retailer of Balblair 10yo and I bought it for $40 USD, and I saw that this bottle is discontiunued and in some pages has a price tag of $70 USD, do you know how much is the real value of this bottle? I bought it to drink it, but it is nice to think that this was a great purchase.

    Get well and over the antibiotics soon!

  31. Z says:

    As someone very VERY familiar with the practice of dentistry, I can tell you that root canals that get re-infected a year after being done often means there’s an underlying problem such as a cracked tooth or the need for an apioectomy.

    Just saying… I don’t want you to get your infection cured for a short time frame only to have it resurface a few days later.

  32. Pat says:

    Port Ellen Release 7
    Longrow 18
    Laphroaig Cairderas 2011

  33. David says:

    Scotch of the Month meeting this weekend.

    Gordan & MacPhail Glen Grant 21 yr (ABV: 40 %)
    MacPhail’s Collection Glenrothes 30 yr (ABV: 40%)

  34. nbeiii says:

    Caol Ila 18yo, thinking I would likely prefer the 12yo. 18yo a little too refined, not rough enough around the edges.

  35. Brian B says:

    Since I have little option other than to dram per your request, I will go with some Highland Park 8 (G & M) as soon as I get home.

  36. Severin says:

    Bachelor Party: Wellers 107 Proof, Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18 Year, Laphroaig 16 Year & Arran 14 Year…could be a rough weekend.

  37. Jewmalt says:

    My physician says booze on antibiotics is fine as long as I don’t have more than one per night. She basically said not to get drunk!

    Get well, John!

    • Red_Arremer says:

      The issue is that the antibiotics are already working your liver so you get drunk more easily.

  38. The Bitter Fig says:

    Modified Cutty Sark. Steeped a small number of raisins, some dried orange peel, two cloves and a cinnamon stick in a jar of it for two weeks then strained. Tastes mostly like you’d expect, with less of the young/yeasty you’d get plain.

    As to drinking/antibiotics and such: If I’m feeling off for mostly any reason, mildly upset stomach, headaches, things like that, I just don’t drink because I just won’t be able to enjoy a nice whisky as much. That, and I’m also paranoid on interaction stuff.

  39. Danny Maguire says:

    John, I have a feeling I know what you’re going through, I started the process of having an implant in my lower jaw in March, should be finished by mid September. So I’ve had a couple of periods where I wasn’t allowed any booze. Right now I’ve got a bottle of Ardmore Peated on the go.No age statement, said it was finished in a quarter cask. Didn’t get much off the nose tonight but the smoke and peat are very obvious on the palate. It’s very obviously a young whisky, still got the fire in it’s belly but rolling it round the mouth for a few seconds seems to soften it a bit.
    Wish you all the best with your treatment, won’t be long.

  40. Dutch says:

    Last night was
    Glenfarclas cask strength
    Hirsch small batch reserve
    Johnny Walker gold
    Evan Williams BIB
    Shorts Strawberry Mama’s Milk porter
    Canadian Mist
    and Old Crow
    Quite a eclectic mix, and yes, we were at a small friends and family music festival, so this was shared with one and all.

  41. brad says:

    Balvenie 21 tonite…….terrific!

  42. Ricardo says:

    Hi John,
    When you finish your antibiotics could you check out the new Bunnahabhain 18YO?
    It’s no longer chill-filtered, no artificial color and up to 46.3% ABV, so a nice change
    from the old 43% ABV version that you rated 92.
    Just curious for your take on this, hopefully, improved version.

  43. VT Mike says:

    I’m sure your forced stint on the wagon will all just seem like a bad dream when it’s over. I opened a 2004 Sineann Pinot Noir to go with dinner tonight, and it was quite nice. Now I’m on to a 12 year Rosebank from Gordon & MacPhail. And that leads to a question – the label says it was distilled in 1989 and bottled in 2003, which should make it a 14 year. Does that mean it spent a few years in a stainless steel tank before bottling, or is there anther explanation?


    • Danny Maguire says:

      The age os Scotch Whisky is taken from he anniversary of when it went in the cask,so even if you bottle it the day before its 15th birthday you’ve got to call it a 14 year old. In all probability thay’s what happened here.

  44. Vince says:

    Last night I had a Bookers and a bourbon that can only be purchased by the glass at the Seelbach Hotel. Fortunately, I was able to obtain a bottle of this exceptional bourbon. Totally enjoyed it!

  45. Roadrunner says:

    Silver Coyote. This is a pure malt whisky from Santa Fe Spirits in Santa Fe, NM. It is a white dog from a distillery that started last October. Look for some interesting single malt whiskies in the future.

    • sam k says:

      RR, my daughter just brought me a bottle of this on her last visit home (PA) from Albuquerque. I’m waiting to try it with her next week, and will be comparing it to Rye Dog from Delaware Phoenix and Silver Oat from High West.

      Sounds like you’re fond of the Coyote.

      • Roadrunner says:

        I had a nice sit down with the distiller at Santa Fe Spirits and we sampled several white dog whiskies from various US and Scottish distilleries. Because there are so many micro-distilleries starting up in the US, and it will be several years before they have true single malt whiskies, I imagine we will see a number of white dogs on the market. It is interesting to note the difference between the flavors coming from the grain vs. the added flavors from the wood in an aged malt whisky. White dogs offer a new range of choices which I find interesting.

  46. Sean says:

    Since most people are drinking whisky(e)y for you I will have some beer.

    Widmer X-114 IPA a wonderful fruity/hoppy IPA
    Odell IPA another nice IPA
    Widmer Nelson Imperial IPA
    Stone Ruination. Only if you like super bitter beers.

    • Bob Siddoway says:

      Sean, those are some awesome beers! I recently had the Stone Ruination and it was delicious, not quite as hoppy as I thought it was going to be, though. Stone still maintains its place as my favorite brewery. I just picked up their new Belgo Russian Imperial Stout that is brewed with anise, but have yet to try it. Their Belgo Barley Wine I had a couple months ago was amazing, though.

  47. Red_Arremer says:

    Killed a bottle of Rosebank 16 yo 46% w/ some friends last night.

  48. Robert says:

    I hope you get well soon. Had a dram of Corryvreckan Saturday night and a dram of Uigeadail last night. Not a bad one-two punch. I think I also had a dram or two of Laphroaig. Guess I was in an Islay mood!

  49. Steve says:

    Last night…. Started off with Glenlivet 12 then straight to my stand by Jack Daniels, followed by some Basil Hayden and George Dickle. First time tasting the last two mentioned, they were ok. After arriving home it was Glenlivet 18 for a beautiful late nite dram! Get well!

    • sam k says:

      Yeah, the Basil Hayden is better as Old Grand-dad bottled in bond (or 114). They are younger, but pack more flavor than Basil. Did you have black label (No. 8) Dickel? If so, the cream label (No. 12) is far better.

  50. Patrik says:

    Having a pre-bbq dram in warm and sunny Sweden right now; Mortlach 18 yrs sherry cask at 46%, bottled by Duthies. I’d give it 88p.

  51. Amit Sawhney says:


    I hope that you feel better soon. I’ve been down that road too (should’ve gotten a new dentist sooner). Don’t forget to smoke a good cigar or two. Nothing like a good smoke to lift your spirits.


  52. Steve says:

    Had some Balvenie 10yr Founders Reserve last night. Its been awhile since I had it, must be why it tasted sooo good! John, any thoughts as to what you’re going to have after 10 days on ”the wagon”?

  53. John Hansell says:

    Update: Visit with the Endodontist today. She told me that antibiotics will only by me some time. The root canal will have to be redone. 🙁 I will have it done later this month when I return from my vacation. (Two visits required…)

  54. Paul Bissett says:

    Nuts that’s bad news, to have that hanging over your head like the sword of Damocles while on vacation. I hope your going somewhere nice and there is whisky involved. Had some Balvenie 12 year old last night and Friday night a couple of friends are coming over to help with it’s Dyslexic big sister the 21 year old.

  55. Jerome says:

    Sorry to hear about your pain, John. It’s times like these that we can console ourselves with the knowledge that while we may not be able to drink, we can still build up the drinking stock. Although, if you are sitting on a Cadenhead’s 1975 CS Ardbeg, your stock probably doesn’t need much edification.

    Had a Highland Park 25yo for you.

  56. Howard G.... says:

    I got some bad news for you…
    As a long time dentist, if your previously done root canal has become reinfected, taking antibiotics won’t do shit.
    The root canal either needs to be redone or the tooth needs to be extracted.
    Trust me on this….

    The good news is that there is no reason to stop drinking now :))

    Howard from Bethlehem

    • John Hansell says:

      Howard, thanks for the encouraging news! 🙂 . But this is the same thing my endodontist said. Ironically, I have finished the 10 days of antibiotics and there is no pain or swelling.

  57. Gary Gillman says:

    John, I just had the same issue, took the antibiotic for 10 days and then had the root canal redone. The pain is gone now and hoping for the best. (I didn’t stop the alcohol during the period but the pills seemed to work anyway. :)).

    One of the whiskeys I discovered was the current Spice Tree from Compass Box. What a great product and a comparative bargain IMO. Lush, full and fruity with an elegant, refined taste. John Glaser is a master.


  58. The Southern Dentist says:

    Getting to this post late, but just so you know, mixing antibiotics and alcohol–no problem! Mixing alcohol and narcotic painkillers ARE a problem! I hope by now your root canal treatment is doing well and you are well on your way to recovery. Thanks for the reviews!! Signed, The Southern Dentist.

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