Thursday, February 4, 2010

One person’s helpful mood improver is another’s worryingly effective stimulant

An article in this morning's Times details Scotland's problems with Buckfast, a popular barleywine brewed by Benedictine monks and containing 15% alcohol and caffeine equivalent to eight Cokes per bottle. "The police in the depressed industrial district of Strathclyde," it notes in particular, "recently told a BBC program that the drink had been mentioned in 5,638 crime reports between 2006 and 2009 (the bottle was used as a weapon in 114 of them)." Nationally, the Scottish government "estimates that alcohol misuse costs Scotland $3.6 billion annually in health and social problems and loss of productivity."

"It’ll blow your head off,” said James Grimson, smoking a cigarette outside a pub near the center of Coatbridge recently, speaking of Buckfast.
"It goes straight to your head,” [said Martin Rooney, 48
,] “but it’s not my cup of tea.” (Mr. Rooney noted that his cup of tea is half a bottle of vodka a night.)
"It’s always wise to remember that Jesus turned water into wine,” [Buckfast PR spokesman] Jim Wilson said in an interview.
"Have you ever tried Benalyn cough syrup?” asked Sharon Macauley, a sales assistant at G & B’s Newsbox general store.
No, m'am.
Click here for the whole story.

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