onsdag, november 01, 2006


Reflections on Ice-Breaking

Is Dandy
But liquor
Is quicker.

-- Ogden Nash

Both girlfriend and I didn't start liking whisky until a couple of years ago. It happened in Amsterdam, our friends dragged us along to a whisky bar, where they had an amazing amount of different brands. I asked the bartender if he could recommend something for someone who don't really like whisky. He suggested something Irish, and we tried it. We tried two or three brands, but my girlfriend fell in love with something called Green Spot. We've tried to find it again ever since, but no luck. And that's not strange, because the distillery only make like 3000 bottles each year.

When we were leaving London, we found a shop at Stanstead airport called "World of Whisky" or something like that. Now, bear this in mind, before walking into this shop around 11 am this had happened earlier in the day:

- we had to get up really early
- the hotel breakfast was crap
- to get to the train station during London rush hour is NO FUN
- because of all the security stuff the queue was very long and slow
- then there was another queue to get some proper food
- at this point my girlfriend was close to exploding, because hungry girlfriend = very angry girlfriend = nervous and annoyed HB

We finally got some food, and ate in a silence that got less and less icy, fortunately. Then we walked into "World of Whisky". I asked the man standing behind the counter:

HB: Do you have Green Spot? It's an Irish whisky.

And while I asked I immediately noticed that the guy started smiling, as if remembering something pleasant. Then he said:

I have it at home (*pleased grin*), but unfortunately I don't have it in the shop. Because as you might know, they only make...

HB: ...3000 bottles each year, yes. (*Sigh*)

Girlfriend: Do you have something else you would recommend?

He suggested Redbreast, and explained that it was made in the same way as Green Spot, and had a lot of the same qualities. He gave us a little taste, and we immediately decided to buy it - because it was delicious.

And then comes the bit that made my day. After we had bought it he showed us a magazine where Redbreast had won first prize in an Irish whisky competition of some sort. It had won over whisky brands that were a lot more expensive. It put both me and my girlfriend in a really good mood, because it was so obvious that he wasn't pushing us into buying. He was just genuinely interested in whisky, and wanted to share his enthusiasm with us. It was brilliant! And so was the whisky. Unfortunately it's gone now, but Redbreast is a bit easier to get hold of than Green Spot.

Syd, regarding Macallan: it's a great whisky. I remember it as cleaner and purer than Balvenie Doublewood, which is more like an explosion of taste. So I guess it depends on what you prefer:-) I'm definately checking out Dalmore. You're the second or third person to recommend it, actually. We ought to have a whisky tasting party again. A whisky tasting party in November, with temperatures below zero and lots of snow is probably even better than a whisky tasting party in July. Whisky is so good when you're feeling cold!

16 kommentarer:

Curiousstine sa...

What do you mean by "hungry girlfriend = very angry girlfriend"? Never..

HB sa...

He he he:-) Apart from that - no comment.

Syd sa...

Excellent post, HB. I loved it.

I've been to a vodka bar, but never a whiskey bar. No doubt, I'd enjoy it.

It is getting to be whiskey time of the year, isn't it? I'll be sure to let you know if I stumble upon anything worth trying.

HB sa...

Thanks, Syd! And please do tell if you find something tasty. Also, where you live, what's November like? How cold does it get? I'd like to hear about what's "whisky time" in your part of the world.

Other readers too, please feel free to join! And if whisky isn't your thing: what do you like to drink during winter?

roro sa...

Your whisky sounds heavenly, especially as it's just started to get frosty here. I am woefully ignorant when it comes to whisky or any other liquor. Except that when someone says "liquor", I say "Liquor? I don't even know 'er!" and then laugh hysterically at my own lame, lame joke. This is why I don't need booze - it's like I'm already drunk most of the time anyway.

greymatters sa...

Well, show me the way
To the next whisky bar
Oh, don't ask why ...

Sorry for that Door's moment. I'm a gin person myself, but I'm taking notes here. My brother is a whisky snob ... lol

HB sa...

Roro: I laughed, so that means I must be lame too:-) Also, it gave the Ogden Nash-poem a new meaning, I have to say. When said, not read, that is.

GM: whisky is the perfect gift! :-)

greymatters sa...

That is what I am hoping, HB! Now everyone knows what Bro is gonna get for Xmas ... LOL.

Anonym sa...

Nope, can't do whiskey, but does the water in the ice in my caipirinha count as what I drink in my water? I have been to a nice whiskey bar, though, now that I think of it (it was in Lisbon), and I did have some mixed drinks, which included whiskey, and they were good, actually.

bani sa...

Whiskey, ew. I'm a bad half-Irish person. I've been wanting to try it hot and sweetened though... plus I've been wanting a bottle for Christmas Cake. That's all it's good for, IMO. 8)

Hilde sa...

Your comments on the hungry girlfriend were hilarious. Reading it made me burst into laughter causing everbody around me
to wonder what was going on. I must admit, this is exactly how my bf would describe me when I'm hungry.

I've tried drinking Whiskey a few times but I didn't really like it. I guess I should give it another go. Maybe it's one of those
things that grows on you. Like olives...

HB sa...

Whisky grows on you, definately. Like olives:-) I started mixing it, but now I prefer it pure, or with a little bit of water. So hang in there, everyone! You might become whisky lovers in the end:-)

Anonym sa...

Hi HB!

This reminds me of a funny story. I was visiting Østersund with a friend of mine and in the evening we went out to have a drink and ended up in a whisky bar. They advertised with their expertise in different whisky brands. My friend was not too experienced in the world of whisky, but knew what she liked... She ordered whisky mixed with Bailyes... The bartender looked actually really hurt. I guess it is not easy to be a whisky lover in this world of ignorants. We had a great night out though.

Greetings, Marit

HB sa...

Ouch!! Really funny, though:-)

Winter sa...

Mmmmm whiskey good. But i like gin too, and Brandy and Vodka. I'm not sure I've ever met a spirit I didn't like actually, which is why I don't allow myself to have them in the house unless there are a lot of other people around.

Wine Online sa...

Great story, one thing in which I am sure is Irish wine is seriously unbelievable and whether I am with my girlfriend or friends, I prefer Irish wine.