Thursday, 3 April 2014

Talisker 57⁰ North

Now that March is gone and we are into April, it is time to step away from Ireland and return to the advent calendar. Todays’ offering is the Talisker 57⁰ North. This is a higher strength version than the standard 10 year old, at 57%. The name is a reference to the latitude of the Isle of Skye where the distillery is located. It is a sometimes harsh area that like the Yukon can also be beautiful. As you can see from the photo I also happen to have a bottle of this expression that I have been saving for the right occasion.    

As a musical companion I figured I would listen to Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys. A smoky high strength whisky and a guy who sets his guitar on fire; I figure I can’t go wrong.    

Jimi Hendrix formed the Band of Gypsys in 1969 after leaving the Experience. This band is more blues rock than the psychedelic rock of the Experience.  There is a lot of jamming and grooving. Billy Cox and Buddy Miles create incredible rhythm to accompany Hendrixs’ blazing solos. It is hard to imagine that Band of Gypsys signifies the beginning of the end for Jimi, because to me it sounds like he is at the top of his game. Sadly Jimi walked off stage a couple of times and after that it was over. It is said that the constant playing and pressure to produce new music led to this behaviour and eventually Jimis’ demise. It is a real tragedy that the world will never know the real potential of this incredible artist.

It is now time to raise a glass to Jimi.

Nose: This may be the most savoury whisky I have encountered. The ocean scents of salt and seaweed mix with pepper and kipper. This is a little weird, but not unpleasant.

Palate: In the mouth it starts off like dessert. The sugar sweetness then turns into a smoky, spicy pepper fest.

Finish: salt, pepper and lemon hang on for a long time.

After tasting this whisky I really can’t help but think of fresh caught Alaskan salmon baked on a camp fire. Even though it may not be exactly the right season for that I can still look forward to this type of activity. The days are growing longer and warmer, and the snow is melting.

A fitting thing to be reminded of since the Alaska government just overturned a certain bill. Over the last few years we Canadians living in the Yukon have been able to buy an Alaska fishing licence for the same fee and with the same allowances as our neighbours.  The bill that got rejected sought to repeal that practice. This privilege that the Alaskans' extend to us is a two way street. It is a testament to the relationship that exists between us. Dismissing this courtesy would lessen the special bond that exists.

Well until next time happy fishing            

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