Beer; ah, well now.
When I lived in England, more than 40 years ago (!) I drank either Mackeson’s stout or Watney’s Cream Label stout; I don’t think either is exported. But when I went back for a visit a few years ago, Mackeson’s was still around in a few places but Cream Label (the best, of course) seemed to have vanished off the face of the Earth. A nice English ale is Old Speckled Hen, but I don’t think it’s available everywhere. It can occasionally be found in Canada, but in minutely small quantities. Nowadays we get Newcastle Brown also; good stuff, but expensive.
When I first came to Canada you could get either lager, lager or lager, and fairly mediocre stuff at best; Labatt’s Blue, Molson Canadian or something called Extra Old Stock; the tastes were indistinguishable. More recently, however, some small craft breweries in B.C. and Alberta have been producing some pretty good beers; Race Rocks Whale Tail Ale or Okanagan Springs Ales can be recommended. I live in Mexico part of the year, but most of the local beers I’ve tried are fairly mediocre imitations of American lager. The only ones I’d recommend are Negra Modelo, or, failing that, Bohemia Obscura.
I’m no wine expert ( despite living for most of the year in the Okanagan Valley, one of Canada’s prime wine producing areas), but a Shiraz red goes down nicely with a meal; although my favourite Shiraz is (whisper) Australian (!)
For the hard stuff, there are several nice single malt Scotches, although personally I prefer the Speysides such as Glenlivet or Aberlour to the Hebridean malts, which seem to me to be somewhat harsh and bitter. Aficionados of Laphroaig will no doubt want to lynch me for saying that. However, some Irish whiskeys such as Old Bushmills or Jamiesons are the equal of any single malt Scotch, in my opinion. I gave some to a Scottish friend who is, truth be told, something of a whisky snob, and he pronounced it excellent - “very smooth and mellow.” I’m not a fan of Tequila, but here in Mexico I’ve found an amazingly smooth white rum called Salamandras, 65 pesos (a little over $5) for a litre bottle - for some things, Mexico can’t be beaten.
Hey Sorcerer, you’re like a walking encyclopedia.
How can I disagree with an Englishman on beer? My favorite pub used to be British. The best beer, bangers & mash, rugby on all day long (at first I thought it was soccer until they started hitting each other) and just simply cool. (They kicked me out later, having been a good customer for long, but when I started proposing that socialism is not all that bad of an idea, and given their main clientelle is Vietnam vets, I guess it was all about the business. Anyway.)
Shiraz is good wine. Pretty “thick”, but very nice. - When it comes to booze I like Bacardi Gold. Smooth, very drinkable. Not big of a whiskey person. I don’t like that barrel taste.