CURMUDGEONS AND TROLLS OF THE WHISKY WORLD - Avert your eyes to this post as it will only bore you, cause you pain/suffering or your head might pop off?! The rest of you, feel free to read on :)
2013 has been an absolute roller coaster ride for me. There have been some really tough moments like coming to terms with losing a few close friends and other things. There have also been some fantastic moments like pregnancies (not my own, eek!) meeting many lovely people, travel and lots of personal growth. I know I'm headed somewhere and that is often the thought that keeps me moving forward even at my lowest moments.
So dram #6 came to my attention in April, then May, June, October and again in November (persistent little bugger!) I read about it in April, interviewed Alasdair Day a month later and then nosed/tasted it in June. So June.. a month where spring is turning into summer. The grass is growing, and people are shedding their winter wear for good (well, it is eastern Canada...) and where was I when I was imbibing it?
By a pool on holiday, in Florida where it was 42C with the humidity. PERFECT weather for a dram, don't you think? Graham was there for a full week of training and I tagged along as a corporate wife which was really nice! Before we left cold and rainy Saint John I grabbed the Tweeddale and brough it with us and I'm so happy I did. We were in Orlando and the closest liquor store had plenty of rum, vodka and beer but the selection of whiskies wasn't that great. Graham got in the habit of pouring himself a refreshing cocktail as soon as he would get home from training and I, well I enjoyed the Tweeddale several times by the pool or back in the room sitting out on the balcony. Probably one of the most refreshing things I've ever drank when it was so hot which bewildered me a bit because I don't have a custom of drinking whisky that much in the summer. Tweeddale was a light, crisp and quite satisfying sip that week. I didn't feel like I had drank loads of sugary stuff (from the colorful umbrella drinks), I didn't overdrink (rarely happens with whisky because of how slow I sip) and I felt refreshed and satisfied.
And you know what: Some might cringe to hear that I kept the whisky in the refrigerator AND drank it ice cold every day... Gasps of blasphemous profanities erupt from the appalled crowd! hehe.. That's right! I committed the whisky snobs greatest faux pas or wait... did I? I didn't add water or ice.
I started every morning on our vacation by having breakfast with Graham. He would leave for class and I in my bathing suit and flip flops made my way to the pool to swim, read and laze around. I'd head back to the suite for lunch, make a sandwich and pour myself a short cold one - Tweeddale. Clean up, finish my whisky and head back to the pool for a few more hours of sun and relaxation. Sometime, I took a small dram with me. By 3:30 I would head back up to the room for a quick shower and a nap. This was my daily ritual for 9 days. Lovely, just lovely.
As for the Tweeddale, well I enjoyed it so much I approached Alasdair to see if it was possible to use it for my Coast 2 Coast Canada Twitter Tasting which was a first in our country in October of 2013. Thirty people from British Columbia to Newfoundland - a span of 5000km came together and we had a blast. It was a glorious moment to say the least. Later on in October I got to meet Alasdair face to face and appreciated the chance to talk to him about the Tweeddale legacy and where he hopes to go next. I was also fortunate enough to try Batch 4, his 14 single malt and the 16 year old grain whisky. They were all very impressive and the hit of Whisky Live Toronto.
The memorable part of this dram will always be how my curiosity got the best of me while reading a blog post led -> a chance meeting over a plate of sweet potato fries led -> an interview led -> drinking close to a full bottle on vacation led -> a cross country twitter tasting led ->meeting the whiskymaker. And it hasn't stopped there.
Tweeddale Batch 3 will forever be the turning point dram where I was no longer "just a blogger" and things started happening pretty fast after that for me. I will always be grateful for the opportunities I've received this year and this great little whisky will always be proof of how you have to keep your eyes open, your ears to the ground and not be afraid to step forward and grab opportunities when they present themselves. Tweeddale is available in Ontario & Quebec (on request) and will may also be available in western Canada very soon.
Thanks to Tom Thomson, Ken Gunn and Alasdair Day for one of my favorite drams this year. Slainté gentlemen!