I spent the past few days in Stonington, Maine, a fishing and holiday town down at the end of one of those crenellated peninsulae between Portland and Bar Harbor. Me dear old Mum, who has spent the last few years caring for my Dad (now in the nursing home), expressed a desire a couple weeks ago to take a break up that way, to relax and eat lobster and steamers and sit by the water and watch the boats go by. I was fortunate to find a rental online, surely available due to a cancellation. The weather forecast was for chilly nights, perfect whisky weather. I chose a bottle of Talisker to take along. Stonington is famous for fog, but we had brilliant sunny days, not too warm, and cool, clear nights; the fog did roll in late one evening, but burned off early the next morning. We ate not only lobster and steamers, but swordfish and sole and haddock and mussels and chowder. Stonington is dry, but that only means that the restaurants are BYO, and the market a few miles up the road sells wine and beer and liquor.
After dinner, we sat on the deck, overlooking the harbor (across the street and between the houses, but still), Mom enjoying her sherry, and me, my Talisker. It seemed the perfect choice after seafood, in the cool, damp, salty air. A lovely escape for all too brief a time.
Maybe I shouldn't write in this thread yet as I didn't drink last night, but I usually only drink every other weekend because of my work. Anyway, I mostly drink in my own company and not with friends - or should I rather say in the same room as my girlfriend and my dog. She (and my dog) doesn't drink much with alcohol in it but appreciates the fact that I do. Although I occasionally go out for a beer with friends I seldom drink whisky. It's mostly reserved for my own company and I guess best considered as my own private time - increasingly and almost disturbingly often in front of the "puter" clicking my way through http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/ . I don't really now what it is, but there is something with that country that fascinates me enormously! Perhaps it's the scenery or bloody history - at times so closely connected to my own country's early kingdoms?
So untill I meet some of you at Islay in the future I guess I'll enjoy my whisky alone!
Lawrence, East Coast Canada is very different from your neighborhood, as I'm sure you know. It can be a tough place to find a good beer and a dram. But it has undeniable charms, and I love going there. I wish I could have hung around Charlottetown for another couple days. And I really missed Halifax this year.
Can situation change your perception of a whisky? Now I believe it can.
Paul A Jellis wrote:Can situation change your perception of a whisky? Now I believe it can.
Absolutely! And that's why, as much as I appreciate the efforts of the many folks here who go to great lengths to make detailed notes and give objective ratings and scores, I cannot personally imagine doing so. I do not believe that there is any such thing as an objective tasting. You can do your best to eliminate all the possible variables, but at the moment you taste, you are Admiral Harry T Lawrence in a tasting room in Glasgow at 10:00am on the fourth of July, you had lamb for dinner last night and scrambled eggs and haggis for breakfast, the temperature is 30°C and the humidity is pushing 100%, your girlfriend said something to you as you left for the tasting that may or may not have been hostile, and you had MacAskill 42 and Glen Googly Root Beer Barrel before tasting this Glen Campbell Rhinestone Reserve. Not only will the circumstances never be the same for you again; they will never be anything remotely similar for me.
Just now I am having what is lately my favorite twofer--Talisker 10 followed by Bruichladdich 10. I discovered quite by accident that any Bruichladdich tastes great after a peaty dram, very full-bodied and flavorful. I love to find such synergistic effects; it usually involves deciding what dram to have after what dinner.
Somewhere else hereabouts, someone mentioned having a dram of Highland Park 25 with vanilla ice cream. I can't wait to try that!
For me, whisky is the Water of Life, not a laboratory experiment. Again, I do not wish to denigrate those who actually do the lab work--I appreciate what they do, and read their notes with great interest. And I know very well that all of them enjoy whisky in the "real world", as well. But I take great delight in knowing that a Jura 10, a whisky not very highly rated by anyone (including me), really hits the spot for Paul A Jellis on a Saturday night overlooking the harbor in Looe, Cornwall. That, in my mind, is what it's all about.
You know at a certain occasion I drank an entire bottle of Loch dhu with my father and asked for more!!!Guess that proves it completely.
MrTattieHeid wrote:That, in my mind, is what it's all about.
D'accord! Where would I be without this one single gorgeous evening in this tiny little village called Nethy Bridge in the Cairngorm mountains after an extensive hiking trip with a Glenlivet 12 in my hand looking at the sunset some 20 years ago. I can still feel and taste how it was...
For my part, my wife had just bought me a pretty nice 8oz Sheffield flask for Christmas. I filled it with some Talisker 18 and after my part time job sipped off it on the way to the station whilst smoking one of Nat's cigarellos. Divine. I did get some funny looks once I made it on the subway. Kind of made me feel like I was in a movie. I mean, I'm from California, and before coming to Tokyo I was pretty casual. I have a business class in the evenings for a pretty big trading company, so I'm always in a suit. It felt...a little surreal.
Wearing a nice suit, drinking good whisky, commuting home on the subway. Got some stares, but I'm pretty sure the "salarymen" workers stared with envy...not contempt. (cant be sure )
Having a flask...i love it. I remember when someone asked me why I smoked (yeah I know, dirty habit) I had answered, "It creates moments...you never step outside with a good friend and say, let's have some chewing gum" With a flask and some good whisky, I feel that I've found a way to enrich that moment even more.
I know you don't get the benifit of smelling the whisky, but I'm much more into how it tastes anyway.
Cheers to your own moments....alone or with good friends.
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