Reflections on Ice-Breaking
-- 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!