Monday, 24 February 2014

Pig's Nose

     Today was a beautiful sunny day here in the Yukon. Days like this in February are always a sure sign that the long dark winter is coming to an end and that spring is coming. This is a time of year marked not only by longer sunnier days but also an increase in local events and festivities. February welcomes the Yukon Quest which is coined as "The Worlds Toughest Dog Race" This 1600 km (1000 mile) race sees dog teams racing between Whitehorse, Yukon and Fairbanks, Alaska with the start and finish alternating between these two cities. Also this month is the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the event. It is a festival designed to build and share the excitement of the fading winter months and also to celebrate some of the Yukon's history. People dress up in the period costumes of 1898. If not there are the Keystone Cops lurking about to lock you up in their trailer cage to publicly shame you... in a fun way of course. During the day people partake in events such as flour packing and ice sculpture. In the evening Can Can dancers perform at the bars. Some establishments even feature "exotic" dancers (a once or twice a year occurrence in this town). All of this and Canada performing better than I can ever recall in the Olympics led to an upbeat and friendly feeling around town.

     Because of the old time feel that encompasses much of this festival I have chosen to listen to Old and In the Way. This 1973 album features the bluegrass super group of the same name. The band is comprised of: Jerry Garcia on banjo and vocals, David Grisman on mandolin and vocals, John Kahn on acoustic bass, Peter Rowan on guitar and vocals and Vassar Clements on fiddle.

     The first song on the album is Pig in a Pen. A classic bluegrass tune, its name also helps to tie in today's whisky, Pig's Nose. Pigs nose is a five year old blended whisky from master blender Richard Paterson. He is the man behind the Shackleton whisky replica. The whisky got it's name because it is said to be as smooth as a pig's nose. According to the Website: "The seriously satisfying smoothness is achieved through combining oak-aged Speyside, Islay and Lowland malts with superior Invergordon gentle grain whiskies."

Smooth as a pig's nose *snort* I'll be the judge of that.

Nose: lemon, conveniently sourdough and slight floral notes.

Palate: It is smooth but it really seems to lack any real character, almost watered down. The only notes I could use to describe it are sweet, grassy and then a bit woody.

Finish: Short and doesn't leave a trace of very much. If I was to describe anything it would be a slight hint of cinnamon as if mixed in to a bowl of unsweetened oatmeal.

This whisky achieves it's goal of being smooth, but at what cost. I think that if it wasn't watered down there might be something positive to say, something to speak about. I fancy myself a person who strives to find the silver lining in things and I can't really find one here. For what it's worth it's not anywhere close to the worst I have ever had... but that doesn't say much.      

Thank you and cheers to longer, warmer days.

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