barrel bullshit – revenge of the whisky geeks

So, I’ve been waiting for this. Whisky geeks are an impossible bunch to please, and I’ve been expecting some snooty reactions to Smokeheads on the many, many whisky forums out there. In general the reception hasn’t been too bad, but there was one recently that made be laugh and gnash my teeth at the same time, when one dram-lover wrote this:

…the author lost me when Molly pulled off the end of the whisky cask by inserting a claw hammer into the bung hole and giving a tug. As the author would have known, if he’d actually been to a cooperage, the bung hole is in the middle of the staves and the only way to get the end out of a barrel is to take off the metal hoops.

The worst thing is he’s absolutely fucking right. I mean, he’s being picky as hell, and it’s a hilariously minor reason to give up on a 300-page thriller, but he is absolutely spot on, the bung hole is in the staves, not the end, and the only way to get the end off is to remove the metal hoops. Look, here’s a picture to prove it:

And I knew that. I just forgot in the heat of a burning illicit still and some general swearing and carnage within the plot. It’s this kind of sloppy writing that is bringing down western civilization in my opinion, and I can only offer my abject apologies to all barrel experts out there, currently rolling their eyes at my ineptitude.

I am off to squirt some lemon juice into a papercut by way of penance. Enjoy your weekends, I shall be spending the entire time in a dark room thinking about what I’ve done and nursing my wounds, physical and psychological.

About Doug Johnstone

I write things
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