God Dram, That's Good Stuff

To whom you're born, your resulting cultural heritage — there's no choice in that. It's happenstance. But some of us get lucky: We have the Scots blood running tartan-red, and we think it's cool. And St. Louisans with the Caledonian stuff can be damn happy about the Scottish Arms (6-10 South Sarah Street; 314-535-0551 or www.thescottisharms.com). Visit the Arms, soak up its low-lit, beery buzz, find an open booth, and prepare to travel. On a Scotch tour. The pub offers four, the priciest being very dear indeed, but the Knight's Tour (in honor of William Wallace — Braveheart to you, bub) is $25 and easy to climb aboard. There's a pour each of three single-malts: Clynelish, Glenfarclas and Ardbeg. The Clynelish and the Glenfarclas are extraordinarily smooth, oaky, peppery and delicious; the Ardbeg, an Islay malt, has that island's characteristic heavy peat and, consequently, twangs with a too-sharp note. Remember: It's not a chugathon, and you're dropping 25 bucks, so slow down. Savor. Sarah Street is a long way from Queen Street in Edinburgh, but the whiskey-wash through the bloodstream is superheated, restorative, smoky with distant fires. For a moment in time, cut moorings and light out for the ancient North.
Aug. 29-Dec. 31, 2007