Liquor in the Team Pick: I Want To Drink “Writers Tears”

In a semi-regular segment entitled Liquor In The ______ that can’t be too regular because I’m probably drinking right now, I’m going to write to you about all the different ways you can liquor. I recognize that it’s weird, especially for those of you who have actually had a drink with me, because I am what the frat boys would call a “two-beer queer” (what I would call a “no-beer queer,” as I’m gay all the live long day). But I get drunk very easily, is the point. Still, I really really like beer, wine and liquor and want to share that love for the artistry of alcohol with you all, my favorite queers. Let’s lift a pint to alcohol and our Autostraddle community– they go together like wine and soft cheese.

Header by Rosa Middleton


Ali’s Team Pick:

We’re big fans of whiskey here. There’s an entire kitten devoted to where the whiskey comes from. Maybe you’ve noticed.

whiskey kitten

Photography © jmberman1 2009

That’s why when Writers Tears (which bewilderingly doesn’t seem to have an apostrophe anywhere in it) was brought to my attention (thank you Laneia), I knew we had to share this with the queermo, whiskey-loving world.

Writers Tears is a pure pot still Irish Whiskey, meaning it’s made with both malted and unmalted barley. According to the Writers Tears website:

Pure Pot still came about in 1802 as a reaction to the introduction of Tax’s by the British on Irish Malt Whiskey. Irish Whiskey accounted for 90% of all the worlds exported whiskey and was seen as a cash cow by the British. By introducing this tax they hoped to “Cash in” on their neighbors good fortune. However in an effort to avoid taxes the Irish Distiller decided to use a higher percentage of unmalted barley (as opposed to Malted Barley) into the still.

This style of Irish Whiskey gained in popularity, earning the title “the Champagne of Irish Whiskey.” What does this mean it tastes like? I’m not sure, as I know more about champagne than Irish Whiskey. But according to several reviews, like this one and this one here, and also the tasting notes, you can hope to taste:

– soft punky flavors

– caramel

– honey tones

– no bitterness

– citrus tones

– a soft vanilla

And on one thing everyone can agree: it’s amazing Irish Whiskey, the best you can buy at that price point (38 euro). So basically, it sounds fucking delicious.

According to Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible:

There is a wonderfully Irish irony that a whisky dedicated to Ireland’s extraordinary literary heritage should be represented by a label, even a brand name, so punctually inept; it’s almost brilliant. The reason for the Writers(sic) Tears, if from the spirits of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and perhaps even Maurice Walsh, whose grandson became a legendary blender at Irish Distillers, will be open to debate: we will never know whether they laughed or cried.

Yes, I’m team picking it because I, as a writer, cry a lot of tears. And those tears are often paired with whiskey. And I like both Irish writers and Irish Whiskey. This is basically two of my favorite things: nice, smooth liquor and literature. I’d like to drink this whiskey and read a lot of books, together at the same time. So yes, the name caught my attention first, and I think the name is just the bestest. But unfortunately for me it’s not available in the US just yet. Which means that I am left with only one question:

Which of our readers in Ireland would be willing to send me a bottle? [Ed. note: Me too?]

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. This whiskey just came on my radar a few days ago. I now have a bottle of “Thirsty Tears” due to not being able to acquire this whiskey.

  2. I’ve been brought up on Bushmills but I will definitely be trying this out.
    I’d totally be your dealer and post some too. But I’d be so paranoid about not packing them well enough that they’d probably arrive in an indestructible duct tape shell. And customs would probably not like that.
    Of course, I could also be a whiskey mule and hand deliver. In late May. To Atlanta. If those specific circumstances suit.

      • I’m going to Montreal next month, I’ll see if I can pick up a couple and set one aside for ACamp. But I’ll probably have to hide it from myself.

        • you are a magical human.

          you’ll get extra hugs.

          (yep, don’t think i don’t remember the first round of hugs i promised you!)


        • You could really make bank by re-selling this at A-Camp. I think I’m going to do it with cigarettes this year. Queers will pay more when they’re stuck in the woods!

  3. An uncle of mine is what you might call a whisky/whiskey aficionado and collects it much in the way some collect wine – he has some very, very expensive bottles. I’m growing quite fond of the odd glass from what i’ve tasted when visiting – not sure he has any Writers Tears, must check; but he did give me a bottle of Ardbeg worth around £300 so impressed was he that I showed an interest in enjoying the stuff where his offspring hadn’t.

    I’ve had it some time now and not opened it, I mean it’s a bloody expensive bottle – but I think the time is near that I will – a night drinking whiskey and listening to the Stones sounds an idea!

    • Ardbeg is quite brutally peaty. The tasting notes mention “thick tarry ropes” and they ain’t lying. It’s a little bit like being slapped and then hugged by a delicious bog monster.

  4. I actually like this stuff, although you can only get it in the odd pub. I’m generally a scotch drinker though. If I can find a wee little sample bottle or something that might fly under the customs radar I’ll totally send some!

  5. I’m Irish and have never heard of it. I do, however, live above an offlicense (liquor store) and am now highly tempted to go down and see if they have any.

  6. Every day Fractals of the Mists bonus chests are generally granted soon after whipping your kraken. Your returns are now dependent from the at least the actual player’s compensate amount as well as latest fractal range.

  7. Hey guys to address the apostrophe I’m led to believe that it was a way they used to write it with the dot under the s as in the wording on the bottle. Pretty nice to keep it really. Have had it and can just say it’s got to be my favorite whiskey around. When you get some let me know what you think.

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