Wednesday September 08, 2010 | 09:47 PM

Wine gets all the attention these days. Entire aisles at the grocery store - and movies at the theater - are dedicated to the grape-inspired drink. And that's fine. Wine's earned a place at the dinner table, especially when in the in-laws are visiting - because you've got to temper Mom's subtle verbal slams somehow.

But what about Scotch whisky? You know, the golden "water of life," with a history spanning centuries? It's quite frankly tired of being a second-class citizen around here.

While wine shops are doling out their samples for free all over the city, the scotch waits patiently on a shelf, tucked in amongst an array of colored bottles. It wouldn't be so bad, except the vodka's a cold sort of fellow and not much of a conversationalist and the fruity schnapps family spends the night dancing it up on the checkout conveyor belt before passing out together at the base of the trash bin.

Where's a classy Scotch got to go to get some respect?

The Scotch whiskies have figured it out: Bull Feeney's in Portland.

Bull Feeney's offers 76 single malt Scotch whiskies - the shelves behind the bar a veritable parade of distilled water and malted barley. On Fridays, the whiskies like to relax and take a little off. It's nothing risque, just 20% off the cost, which is a boon for whisky drinkers whose funds may be suffering on account of the whole economy-in-a-downward-spiral thing.

But for true Scotch whisky appreciators - especially those who aren't afraid of staying out a little late on a school night - there's a chance to really get intimate with your drink. On Sundays after 9 pm, longtime bartenders Andy Kehoe and Jeff Grundy are on hand to guide customers on a tour of Scotch whiskies from region to region. The samples aren't free - but the good things in life never are, am I right? Besides, it's worth shelling out a few bucks for that "I feel like I really know you" experience.

Bull Feeney's on Facebook

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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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