“Grey hair is becoming a stylish and fashionable option for both older and younger women alike – it can actually make a woman look softer, more premium, more interesting – younger, even, if done in the right way.”
– Harvey Nichols 2015 Hot List Hamper
Whether it was reading this weeks ago or noticing the extra silver at my temples, I’ve been seeing youngish grey-haired women everywhere lately. No doubt this will all have passed by the time my hair is entirely silver, but I suppose this all just goes to show that everything comes around again in time.
Some have meat and cannot eat,
Some cannot eat that want it;
But we have meat and we can eat,
So let the Lord be thankit.
– attributed to Robert Burns, “Selkirk Grace”
Today marked my first Burns Day as a proper Scotch drinker, so naturally, I planned a full vegan Burns Supper complete with single malt pairings.
Taking my cue from The Caledonian’s Donna Wolff, I paired the smoky, briny Laphroaig 10 with a bowl of Cullen skink, a hearty chowder traditionally made with smoked haddock. My vegan version was a creamy, warming, rib-sticking potato soup with a sweet smokiness to match the Laphroaig. A wonderful way to stimulate the appetite — and it’s appetite that was needed, for there were two courses still to go! Continue reading
The first month of the year is barely half over, but already I’ve sampled the whisky at the tip of my 2015 to-taste list: Laphroaig Cairdeas.
Like sweet? Don’t fear the peat! There are approachable peated drams for every palate. Three of my favourites: Ardbeg 10, Laphroaig 10, and Talisker 10.
There are, apparently, 1200 English words meaning “drunk.” How wonderfully colourful this language of ours is!
Looking over my list of goals for 2015, I realize I should have specified that I mean to read more books this year. In 2011 and 2012, I read 30 books of various genres, but in 2014 — I’m embarrassed to say — I read less than one book per month.
My RSS reader, on the other hand, was robust. Here are a few recent whisky stories I found worth reading:
- Coming as a surprise to no one but CBS News: women drink whisky and like it. Some even like it enough to found their own brands and tasting clubs.
- And to what, or rather to whom, do we attribute whisky’s apparently sudden popularity among women? The Washington Post, reporting on that CBS News report, asserts well-known female whisky drinkers, women like Hillary Clinton and Christina Hendricks, can take credit, but this is a little reductive. As Fred Minnick’s Whiskey Women shows, women have a long and colourful association with the spirit; it’s just that the association has now lost its stigma, which has allowed more women — unknown women like myself — to find their ways to whisky. Nor can we discount the influence of the overall resurgence of whisky’s popularity. But that’s just my two cents.
- The Whisky Advocate made its picks for the best expressions of 2014, and the best Canadian whisky is all rye: Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye. It really is a wonderfully smooth, flavourful dram, and great value for money. On taste alone, I prefer it to the regular Canadian Club, which I’ve always imagined had more in common with paint thinner than whisky. This expression is great on its own, and divine in a Manhattan — and that’s coming from a bourbon Manhattan drinker!
- The only thing more quintessentially Scottish than peated whisky may be Harris tweed — until now. Harris Tweed Hebrides, Johnnie Walker Black, and Heriot-Watt University have come together with designer Angelos Bratis to craft tweed jackets that permanently smell like whisky. Possibly the perfect birthday gift for that whisky drinker in your life.
- Not sure about the whisky tweed? Here’s great advice about gifting bottles of whisky that has currency far beyond the Christmas season.
- Has someone bought you a bottle of whisky that you just don’t like? Don’t pour it out or regift the bottle yet! A better tasting dram may be only 24 hours away.
- This is an older link, but worth sharing. Note well: “10 whiskies you probably haven’t tried (but really should).” The recommendations come from Ian Buxton, whose 101 Legendary Whiskies You’re Dying to Try But (Possibly) Never Will I’m excited to read this year even though it may cause me to cry in my dram.
They say that the surest way to keep resolutions is to hold yourself accountable by sharing your goals with a friend. Rather than burden any one friend with my list, I’m sharing it here.
- I plan to read and to write more, even when I think I’m too exhausted. Reading at least one chapter and writing at least one full paragraph (here or elsewhere) each week should be entirely achievable, regardless of my work schedule.
- I plan to get back into my running routine. I miss it.
- I’d like to expand my arsenal of knitting skills so I can finally tackle some of the more involved projects I’ve been eyeing. Like this cloche here.
- I’d like to take a few day-long hiking trips in the GTA. The Escarpment is virtually at my doorstep, and yet I haven’t taken proper advantage of my location. I think I do a good job of being a tourist in my own city, but it’s time to extend my field of adventure.
Here’s to the start of a creative and stimulating new year!
My BFF is a momma. I am so proud of her!
This blog has been a little neglected lately, and now that work is starting to slow down a bit, I’m happy to return my attention to it. Terse Tuesday posts are fine, but a girl needs variety in her expression!
And speaking of expressions, here a few of the whisky-inspired links that tickled my fancy over the last few weeks:
- Last Friday marked the 81st anniversary of the day our bourbon-drinking neighbours to the south repealed Prohibition. Here are ten appropriately festive cocktails to enjoy now and through the holiday season. (I find this one, which calls for balsamic- and apple-infused Woodford, especially appealing.
- Counting down the days until Christmas? I hope it’s with this dram-a-day Advent calendar! I can’t believe I discovered these existed only last week! You can bet I won’t miss out next year.
- There are those who believe that water mixes with whisky as well as it does with oil. While I do prefer most whiskies neat, a drop of the real aqua vita can really enhance some drams. Here the Bourbon Guy shares his thoughts on dilution.
- Though as a whisky-drinking woman I’m a little annoyed by Harry Rosen’s CEO’s “boys will be boys and they love scotch” comment, I love the sentiment behind this promo event for The Macallan: it’s not the age that matters but the cask. Now, go hug a cooper.
- Where do good barrels go when they die? The garden centre crowd has one idea, but here’s a better one. Show your love for whisky by keeping a piece of monogrammed cask close to your heart. Dear Santa…
As I get older, so many of my travel souvenirs are food and drink. What power has taste to evoke memory, induce reminiscence!
Chicago was popcorn and celery salt. Ireland was Bewley’s tea and dillisk and carrageen. And Scotland? Ardbeg Uigedail and Marmite, chutney and cocoa balsamic. On a night as dark as this, I’m savouring what’s left and dreaming of my next trip.