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I recently learned a Machlokes between the Rashbam and Tosfos (Arvei Pesachim 101a) on when to say the Bracha of HaTov Vehameitiv on wine. The Rashbam says you make the Bracha if the second bottle is better, whereas Tosfos says you make the Bracha on the second bottle so long as it is not much worse than the first. Do the same arguments for when to say the Bracha apply for hard liquor, like whiskey or vodka?

As always, please cite your sources

  • The Me'iri (Beis HaB'chira, B'rachos 59b) mentions and rejects an opinion that one should recite הטוב והמטיב on beer: הביאו לו שכר וכבר ברכו על היין שנפטר השכר בברכתו יש או' שאף על זה מברך הטוב והמטיב ואין הדברים נראין. – Fred Feb 23 '14 at 5:40
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The bracha was enacted specifically for wine; I can't see how it would apply to anything else.

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    Do you have a source? – Bochur613 Feb 23 '14 at 2:01
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    The discussion should be a sufficient source. They discuss wine. They do not discuss hard liquor. There were liquors at that time. If they meant liquor, they would have said liquor. – Seth J Feb 23 '14 at 2:29
  • I don't think there was widespread use of distilled alcohol (at least in the West) at the time. The earliest clear evidence for distilled alcohol would be in the 12th century. It's very likely that the Rashbam and his contemporaries were unaware of hard liquor, and certainly not the finer aged single malts enjoyed today. – Ephraim Feb 23 '14 at 7:47
  • That being the case, see here: halachayomit.co.il/DisplayRead.asp?readID=2830. He cites the רא"ש who gives reasons why the bracha is said specifically over wine. The implication would be that the bracha is not recited over an expensive single malt. – Ephraim Feb 23 '14 at 8:50

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