You've heard it before: Drink responsibly.
It's good advice, and not just in the narrow, PSA sense of "don't drive drunk." We are responsible for the consequences of our actions, and what and how we drink has consequences even if we never drive.
For example, one consequence of habitually choosing to drink lousy whiskey is becoming the sort of person who drinks lousy whiskey.
Now, whether there's ever a time or a place to drink lousy whiskey is a question for another post. Here I'll just assert as self-evident that the vast majority of times and places are not for drinking lousy whiskey. A night out with friends, a night in with friends, a drink with dinner: these are not for drinking lousy whiskey.
That may sound self-serving, or even snobbish, but it's really just an application of the ancient philosophical principle of the importance of a life well lived. (Flying Dog Brewery, following the same basic principle, uses as their tagline a quote from Hunter S. Thompson: "Good people drink good beer.")
In any case, it's a principle within the reach of all. If you can afford to drink whiskey, you can afford to drink good whiskey.
That's because there are some good, inexpensive whiskies available -- not to mention some very-good-to-excellent, moderately priced whiskies.
So the next time you turn down a rail drink, or buy a bottle of something you want to drink rather than something you're willing to drink, you'll be making a choice consistent with living a good life. And that's what I call drinking responsibly.