Tomorrow sees a global celebration of the zenith of human achievement.* Uisge Beatha is the Celtic name for ‘water of life’, and there are few, if any liquids which have prompted generations to wax lyrical over the years.
World Whisky Day itself is a relative newcomer, and founder Blair Bowman was still at university when he struck upon the idea in 2012, and this year sees and incredible range of events to celebrate around the world.
What it does represent is part of a much larger movement, which is itself vitally important; to balance the incredible generations of artistry and craft at the heart of the whisk(e)y industry with innovation and accessibility which had been lacking prior.
Forward thinking distillers, and a new generation of brand ambassadors and bartenders are opening whisky up, literally and metaphorically, and stressing that it is not solely the domain of ageing gents who wear vast wooly jumpers 365, jealousy guard its secrets, and would still be appalled to find out that some of the exemplars of the industry now are young, talented and female.
Newcomers may be deterred by the sheer volume of options. an early experience with an overly peated malt, or the often dizzying and elaborate tasting notes like ‘on the nose has the distant memory of an early morning walk with a labrador called Scout who stole a Monster Munch. Complex, yet playful notes of meringue and passionfruit give way to Christmas Cake and existential angst.’
There is exceptional craft, passion and dare I say art at the very heart of the whisky industry, and a tangible community which is justifiably proud of making incredible liquid, and eager to share it with the world.
Be it from Scotland, Ireland, the States, Japan or beyond there are whiskies to be discovered and celebrated that are as unique and inspirational as you are at your very best. No longer is it seen as sacrilege to have your whisky neat, or with a drop of water (although it is lovely), and anyone who tries to tell you that is doing whisky a disservice- be it with ice, juice, or in an amazing cocktail the correct way to drink it is the one you enjoy the most.
The way a whisky evangelist’s eyes light up when you ask them for advice speaks volumes about how much fun this can be, and there are incredible bars all around the world to discover, be you in Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Houston, Sydney or any spot in between.
To invoke yet another cliche and paraphrase Robert Burns, there are few things better in life than a bottle and a friend, so be inquisitive, raise a glass and have a dram on May 12th, or any day you fancy, Slainte.
World Whisky Day, Saturday May 20th
For info, tips, drinks, videos and much more go to www.worldwhiskyday.com
Find a local World Whisky Day event- www.worldwhiskyday.com
*This may or may not be a touch hyperbolic. Ok, it is.