Cor Blimey, Guv

The first known batch of Scotch whisky was recorded on this day in 1495; the first distillation accredited to a Tironensian monk named John Cor. The man of pray a servant in King James IV’s court at Lindores Abbey, Fife.

For the uninitiated, the Tironensian Order was a medieval monastic order named after the location of the mother abbey in France (Tiron Abbey), which was established in 1109. The monks were renowned for adorning grey robes, apart from on Tuesday mornings when they donned lederhosen and orange bibs during PE lessons.

I’d like to think Cor stumbled over the drink after the monarch decreed: – “Createth a beverage to enchant mine regal palate and intoxicate mine soul… But be well warned monk, if thouest mix it with cola, thouest shalt loseth yon head!”

That of course won’t have happened…….. The monarch loved coke as a mixer; drinks he quaffed with dry roasted nuts and pizza while he watched the Sky Jousting channel on TV.

Before anyone thinks of using any of the information I penned above in a history test, I advise caution. I say this because a significant amount of the detail is fictional. To assist you with identifying the factually correct, they are all the words which aren’t made up… Does that help? …. No! …. Never mind.

In all seriousness, though, I felt it prudent to add that disclaimer to highlight my ‘fake news’. Although the fictitious elements are obvious to most, I do receive emails thanking me for the informative nature of my blogs. Some even mention information taken from these narratives will be invaluable in their upcoming exams.

It’s probably common sense to most readers that cola drinks didn’t exist in 1495, but you’d be surprised how many take my silliness as gospel truth. I don’t want to be responsible for a 16-year-old failing their exams due to them interpreting my blogs as historically valid.

I pen these narratives to entertain. Ordinarily, readers know these essays aren’t serious factual journals which are littered with large swathes of fiction; knowing the monologues are written with tongue very firmly planted in cheek. 

However, if you’re in any doubt don’t pass off any reference in my narratives as being factually correct…… At least, not without further research, or unless you’re not overly bothered about looking a fool!

Anyway, I’ve digressed away from my original subject of today being the 528th anniversary of the first recorded mention of whisky.

I would imagine my Scottish and Irish ancestors would turn in their graves to hear I very rarely drink whisky. A couple of terrible hangover experiences in my 20’s resultant from overindulging in John Cor’s discovery meant for most of my adulthood I have reticence to drink the liquor again.

That being said, my whisky drinking son Jonny recently introduced me to the wonders of extremely palatable single malts. Consequently, I now occasionally partake in sensible supping of the distilled demon.

Footnote – For the record my son is 32, not seven years old… I felt it worth clarifying in the event you were about to ring Wakefield social services.

My twentysomething after-affects from hell were after over imbibing poor-quality whiskies. I’m pretty sure if I’d have consumed the same quantity of a decent single malt I’d have got as drunk, and similarly attempted to remove my jeans via my head. However, I suspect those hangovers (which lasted two days) would not have been quite as horrific.

Anyhow, thanks to Jonny’s whisky choice mentoring I can now raise a glass on the 1st June, toasting John Cor and his globally loved elixir.

As an aside, does anyone have a good recipe for duck a l’orange?… And, yes I know today isn’t the 1st June. Hopefully you’ll give me a bit of leeway for my calendar foul up, though, as I did write this on that date, just forgot to post it.

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