Whisky is one of the few improvements on nature which the vodka-drinking Russians forgot to invent. It came, the Russians say, from medieval Ireland, where "it was known as uskvebak, which means 'water of life.' "

Last week, while still giving full credit to the Irish, the Soviet Russians did their best to make up for the oversight of their Czarist ancestors by putting, the first homemade Russian whisky on sale at Gastronom No. I, Moscow's leading grocery store. Sovetsky visky, which, according to New York Times Correspondent Harrison E. Salisbury, "smells like American rye and tastes like not a...

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