Uisce Beatha


This is no black label
bourbon country,
no corn syrup sickly sweet,
no pale pints in bell jars
rank and rich that beats like
a whip of willow switch.

Here we drink our whisky neat.
Water is used to brew brown tea
and to wash food waste
from dinner plates.

It’s Irish Uisce Beatha
it tastes of mountains
and summer heat
and streams of glacial flow
water sweet from deep
below the limestone beds and granite steps.

Malting barley from the fertile vales.
Thrice distilled in copper pots
then stored in sweetened oloroso barrels.
The scent of whiskey aging young to old
in deep cellars and bonded holds.

It’s blended, smooth,
not peat burned scotch
that burns bitter on your bleeding tongue
but golden malt mouth and nose
that kisses blessed taste buds as a rose
and sings an aria
of brown robed monks and Irish scholars.

-Dave Kavanagh

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