Whiskey, You’re The Devil?

jdListen, the whole kashrut thing, I’m working on it. Having grown up in completely secular homes, I consider it an accomplishment that I’ve gotten El Yenta Man to stop trying to flavor the mustard greens with hamhock. “I’m a Southern Jew,” he likes to tell to me. “We do things different.”

He’s been very open to my insistence that we ever-so-slowly move into a more observant direction in our lives, but if I have to tell him that his beloved Gentleman Jack ain’t kosher, things are gonna get ugly.

From Ynetnews: Though previously regarded as kosher because it’s not wine, the halachic nature of whiskey is now up for debate. A group of rabbis now says that because some brands of whiskey are aged in oak barrels previously used to produce non-kosher wine, it’s best to abstain until things get cleared up. Apparently using old barrels gives the brew that little extra “something” in Johnny Walker, Chivas and Grant’s.

American rabbis investigating the conflict say that here barrels get burned clean, so it’s not an issue. But until there’s an official ruling, I’m keeping this news to myself. After yesterday’s mold debacle, a guy deserves a Friday afternoon drink in peace.

Me, I’m currently a rum-and-Coke, once-in-a-while kind of gal, all good halachically. But my previous drink — tequila shooters — are iffy, and a big ‘nay’ if there’s a worm involved.

Want to know if your favorite libation is kosher? World Jewish Review’s Rabbi Tzvi Rosen breaks it down.

Shabbat shalom, y’all!

2 thoughts on “Whiskey, You’re The Devil?

  1. As I understand it the main issue concerns certain single Malt Scotches. There is a big debate about the old Sherry casks used to age them. The Sherry is not kosher and it comes down to the issue of residual taste left in the barrel.

    There are excellent articles on the subject at http://www.kashrut.com/ They also have a broad series of articles on Kashrut As well as a very good e-mail alert system for kashrut, health and alergy alerts.

  2. Kudos to you for taking steps toward kashrus! Even with a reluctant spouse, you can do it. Our tradition holds that the woman is the spiritual leader in the home. You lead, they will follow.

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