I think that there are those that love some of the Glenlivet offerings, and some that loathe.
However, I’ve had the opportunity of sampling a few over the years. I really quite liked the Nadurra Oloroso, so when asked if I’d like to sample (and I wasn’t expecting a full bottle) of the Caribbean Reserve, I said “yes, please”.
On the nose, banana-ish scents along with vanilla. Brown sugar and a drizzle of honey come into the mix too. I’m not a fan of pears but I sense a little lurking in the background…
I’m sorry to say, but this needs the edges smoothing off… it’s a bit rough (alcohol burn) on the palate.
Oaky (tannins) and therefore a little drying. I’m getting some fruit there, reminds me of a dried tropical fruit mix I had in my younger years… but I’m waiting for more….namely some sweetness.
The finish is a tad flat… but there is a smoothness to it.
The nose was drawing me in, the palate was not for me. Maybe it doesn’t suit my palate. It might suit yours?
Oh my, I’ve been quiet of late… again. I must admit it’s probably been nigh on nine months. Maybe it’s longer?
What a flipping time. A time I do not want to repeat.
Earlier in July I handed in my resignation. A lot of factors led me to this point. Seeing and knowing my self worth told me it was the right thing to do.
I felt an enormous amount of relief. I then took 2.5 days leave. On the first full day of leave I sat at the hairdressers, feeling like I had completely run myself into the ground… and after, I basically went home to bed and more or less stayed there for 5 days. Acute sinusitis and a chest infection knocking me for six.
It’s all been a bit of a pain. Talking of pain, I was asked last Tuesday (by a medical professional) what I wanted them to do for my shoulder… huh? Is it that crazy that a woman would like to be able to move her shoulder/arm in order to be able to wear a bra, let alone be free from pain? One of the many stupid questions recently. That and, didn’t you prepare yourself for losing your mother? Really?
I wasn’t prepared at 42 years of age to realise that she was suffering from vascular dementia, seeing her fade before my eyes. So, no.
Nothing “prepares” you for losing a loved one. Never mind eh? I’ll get over it (think that’s the attitude that’s expected.) !!
So I’ve forgotten how to chill out, but I’m trying to do that again. I’ve got a to do list in my head of things I’ve not had the energy to face. Simple things like washing my car, a bit of self TLC, responding to emails, and not fretting about EVERY DAMNED THING.
It has been exhausting.
I also need to pay some attention to whisky… I’m sorry, please forgive me for not having the time to spend enjoying you. I do keep remembering how you teased and toyed with my senses. The first sip of you coating my tongue as I held your liquid in my mouth before swallowing. Feeling you in my mouth, then the moment you slip down my throat and savouring that taste.
I miss that too.
I’ve missed an awful lot to be honest. Sunrises, sunsets, my thinking spot, allowing myself time to get lost in thought. All of it and so much more.
“You know sometimes, I’m so carefree With a joy that’s hard to hide Sometimes seems that all I have is worry And then you’re bound to see my other side But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood
If I seem edgy, I want you to know That I never mean to take it out on you
Life has its problems and I get more Than my share But that’s one thing I never mean to do I don’t mean it
People, don’t you know I’m only human Don’t you know I have faults like any one But sometimes I find myself alone regretting Some little thing; some foolish thing That I have done But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood Don’t let me be misunderstood I’m just someone whose intentions are good Don’t let me be misunderstood Don’t let me be misunderstood”
Some words from Yusuf (Cat Stevens) that kind of fit the way I’m feeling at the moment.
Anyway, I’ve given myself a month to recuperate. I’ll get back into cooking healthier meals, going for walks and being me. Something I’ve not felt for a while…and that saddens me.
So I ended up cleaning my car last Sunday, (well actually two cars at the same time), finally getting to all those little nooks and crannies and making it lovely and shiny once again. So I can be blamed for the rain.
I’ve found myself wanting to get back to the places that give me fond memories… though some can be bittersweet, there’s always the knowledge that something good happened there. Then a smile plays across my lips and it triggers a thought or a moment. I need more times like that. Regret nothing. Live and love. Be daring. Be brave. Fuck people off occasionally…that can be quite invigorating. Be the worm that turned. That’s not saying that’s a bad thing either, putting yourself and your needs first can be just what you need in order to reset. Well, I think so anyway, goodness knows I’ve had people telling me this for years…
I ended up in Speyside, though the sky was grey, it was nice to be out and about and I had a little chat with the ladies in the VC at Glenfarclas too.
It was nice to recall previous trips and enjoyable moments I’ve had in Speyside over the past few years…that always helps.
Just saw some of the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Brum… have to say that made me smile as I’ve had some lovely times there. Smoggy has talent…
Now I’m on my first full week off, so I’m having some quiet days. Thinking days… then attempting some “normal” next week, and continue looking for a new job too.
There’s a translation as to what the title says. But as I often say “I’m not Google…” I also think this might also be the hardest goodbye. Gulp.
This post has been in my draft folder for months… oh Mum, I miss you….
The last year has been a bit of a blur. Work has kept me busy, maybe too busy on occasion, especially since the end of October, yet despite that, the thoughts are there.
Thoughts & feelings that left me numb. Missing life, missing what truly makes my heart happy. Grieving for Mum. Missing friends… travel. It all. And I want it all back now. Right now.
And so, August. I’m sat here, it’s 1:30am and sleep is escaping me once more. These things happen.. and the worst thing to do if you’re restless is to stay in bed. So I’m sat in the dark on my sofa. I really wish I had a dram in my hand, but I want to go grab a sunrise at 05:53 so a clear head is needed, what else is needed is one of the gorgeous Ibiza sunrises I saw 3 years ago… they were special. And I miss them.
Thankfully I have a day off tomorrow, so I don’t have to concern myself with being asleep for that. I guess I have been preoccupied with the heartbreaking task of clearing the remnants of Mum’s life from what was the family home.
Sadly a lot of things were taken without consent (how some people can live with themselves is beyond me – but Karma will look after that for me.) So Saturday was an early start. Two rooms have been dealt with so far, and another few weekends will see it complete I’m sure.
I know I won’t miss the house itself. Too many ghosts and exhausting memories that rattle round the rooms.
What I will miss is Mum. I guess I was always her little helper. And this is the last time I will clean her house for her. That really broke my flipping heart on Saturday… thankfully I was able to stop at the side of a road on my way home.
Missing the physical contact (hugs) and comfort of loved ones is unimaginably hard… this reminded me again how I crave that contact.
Well it’s Monday evening. It was a lousy start to the day weather wise, so no sunrise today, and after finally getting to sleep till after 3am, sleep was the friend that needed my attention today.
Saturday’s conversations were mixed, some childhood memories, some chat about the here and now… hopes & dreams and my passions (some of them.)
I found photos of Mum I’ve never seen, photos of family I’ve never met. Daft photos that will never see the light of day, and photos that remind me to keep going and never ever give up.
It’s Tuesday now, and despite the mist I decided to “grab me a sunrise”… it was more than worth it as I was rewarded with a view that blurred things out. The normal view a memory. A clean slate. That thought…
It’s Wednesday once again. A couple of weeks have passed It’s early. It’s 6:17 am or thereabouts. Another day of house clearing has passed (last Saturday)…heavy lifting (while those that could lift more easily did sweet FA.)
Memories falling from the pages of photo albums. A shell is starting to emerge from the remnants of 90 years of life. Compassion in every task, yet, a duty to get the job completed. Tick tock. This is the last part of the long goodbye. It started in 2015, early in the year. I tried Mum. I begged and pled, and well… I tried.
I’ve gotta say, that those that truly know me… I’m sure they’ll agree, I’m not one to give up the fight. I’m still waiting !!
I may go quiet. I might walk away, sometimes that’s for my benefit. Not yours. Self protection. Yep, it’s a thing.
Anyway that was Wednesday night’s thought. I eventually fell into a sweet dream that I was ripped from at 6:15am Thursday. Bloody hell, let a woman sleep.
So, it’s Saturday evening once again. I was sat writing this in my thoughts, so grabbed my phone to continue. I know which whisky I’m pouring to finish this off. That’s one thing solved. Just one more Saturday and I can say goodbye to the house one last time. The terrors (touched on in a previous blog) can be boxed up and dumped from my mind as I drive away. No looking back. The other’s can decorate the house and tend the garden…me doing it again would break me. I left the house immaculate time and time again. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Time to look after me, and my heart. Let the thoughts that soothe and thrill me be my guide… start again. Maybe.
Hit the pause button. Let life begin playing again… the songs, the scents, the tastes. ALL OF IT. The moments & memories I protect so fiercely will touch my soul. Draw me out… one thing I need to do is breathe again. Hopefully, and believe me I’ve asked people to keep EVERYTHING crossed, next week might just help with that. I’ve been so touched by thanks and gratitude recently. Words of praise have made me realise my worth once more. Smoggy camaraderie…never mind the bollocks, ha ha. A boost I needed and didn’t think I’d get.
Sunday. Dram still Inside the Bottle. One job that needs doing will be done this day. My garage is nearly back to as it should be…Might as well use the space efficiently eh?
Another weekend has passed, we should have been there doing what’s needed. My mind firmly elsewhere. The distraction would’ve soothed me. Alas… alas. So next Saturday will be the final push.
I went for a walk at the beach. Met a mate. I wish it had been a secluded beach, alone. Just me and the sand, the breeze encouraging the waves to froth and twist… nothing but sea between me and the horizon. The beautiful nothingness of it. No effort. No obstacles.
I’ve fought to escape the weight of the sadness that’s followed and pulled at me for so long…I don’t want it. I never have. Who would want it? Who would cause that sadness too? Add to it? …the way to escape is to walk away. Simple. Ah that everything in life was so simple…though, I do firmly believe life & it’s myriad decisions can be easy. It’s blocking out the bad stuff.
That’s the me that trying to be heard. To be seen. To be accepted.
It’s October 15th now… a cool morning disrupted by being awake from 2-4am. Sleep, please be my friend once more. All those years being on alert listening for Mum have ingrained themselves into my pattern. A pattern that needs breaking.
Another day helping carry out your wishes Mum, at least two of us realise that. A dreadful day. A day of disbelief… a day of silent sorrow.
The car pulled away…
Like a bottle of whisky you’ve opened, enjoyed, savoured and yes, loved. The contents depleting each time you pour a little more. You see the bottom of the bottle coming, then before your eyes, it’s gone. A one off. It’s irreplaceable…
30th November… I cried for you again today, my one time partner in crime. It’s coming up on a year since you slipped away, since Covid-19 stole you from us. I’ll remember the fun times with a smile, I’ll remember your strength. I’ll remember the good and all that you taught me.
I’ll make damn sure 2022 fills me with happiness and laughter, and most importantly more smiles.
ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST IN DEMAND BOTTLES OF JAPANESE WHISKY TO GO UNDER THE ‘WHISKY HAMMER’
— Yamazaki 55 Year Old expected to attract global attention at online whisky auction —
A Scottish whisky auction firm will showcase the super-rare Yamazaki 55 Year Old in its auction, starting Friday 19 November 2021 – an iconic release which has proven incredibly sought after and notoriously difficult for enthusiasts to find for purchase.
The single-malt blockbuster is the world’s oldest and rarest Japanese whisky and has been described as a ‘unicorn amongst whisky collectors’.
First unveiled to the world in 2020, the Yamazaki 55 Year Old was limited to just 100 bottles which were sold exclusively in Japan via lottery. Over a year later, a second and final release of 100 bottles were made available to other markets around the world.
Online whisky auction business Whisky Hammer was started in 2016 by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne who are originally from Macduff, near Speyside, an area renowned for the production of Scotch whisky.
Daniel believes this is an incredibly unique opportunity for a whisky collector to bid on one of the most sought after whiskies in the world. He said: “We couldn’t be more excited to offer such an exceptionally coveted bottle of whisky. The Yamazaki 55 Year Old is arguably the most in-demand collectable bottle of Japanese whisky in the world today – anyone who collects rare whiskies knows about Yamazaki and wants it. It is a unicorn amongst whisky collectors worldwide, particularly those with an interest in Japanese whisky.
“Only a few have appeared in world auctions in recent times, however the lot available through Whisky Hammer is even more desirable for serious collectors as it’s the first of its kind to appear at auction free from having the original owner’s name engraved on the glass and box, which featured in the first 100 bottles sold exclusively in Japan.”
This whisky is a blend of single malts, with components distilled in 1960 and aged in Mizunara casks and some distilled in 1964 and aged in White Oak casks. One of the rarest and most expensive oak species in the world, whiskies aged in Mizunara are highly prized. Mizunara wood is native to Japan and deeply-rooted in the country’s history. Scarcer than European and American oak, Mizunara is very expensive and hard to cooper due to its porous nature.
Aged at a stunning 55 years old, the 46% ABV whisky is presented in a crystal bottle with the word ‘Yamazaki’ engraved in sandblasted calligraphy featuring real gold dust and lacquer on the age marking. The bottle’s opening is wrapped in handmade Echizen washi paper and bound with a Kyo-kumihimo-plaited cord, a traditional craft from Kyoto. Each bottle comes in a bespoke box made from native Mizunara wood and coated with Suruga lacquer.
Whisky Hammer hosts monthly auctions, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, allowing buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe to participate. It has auctioned a wide range of whiskies, both bottles and casks, with auctions selling in excess of £1 million under the hammer each month.
Whisky Hammer re-located in 2019 to a new, purpose-built facility in Aberdeenshire, which is also home to Still Spirit – a whisky shop, e-commerce site and dram bar offering over 100 rare whiskies to taste while overlooking the beautiful Scottish countryside.
BENROMACH LAUNCHES ‘FIRSTHAND’ WITH LIMITED-EDITION HIP FLASK COLLABORATION
Firsthand” is the new campaign from Benromach whichcelebrates the benefits and craft of hand-made products. To mark this, a new series of curated partnerships with artisan producers will be created to explore the quality and artistry of the handmade.
As a whisky that’s made by hand for genuine character, Benromach is celebrating the skills of makers worldwide who share the same ethos and commitment to making high quality products using time honoured methods.
After working together for many months on the detail and design, today Benromach releases its first collaboration in the Firsthand series by partnering with Yorkshire-based leather workers, specialising in custom hip flasks, HÔRD.
Benromach x HÔRD launches today with 80 hipflasks (£50) available to purchase from benromach.com/flask. Handmade by Gemma Gilleard and Jason Booth, founders of HÔRD, each hip flask uses old leather that would otherwise head to landfill, with all cladding, dyeing and detail added by hand.
Jason Booth, founder of HÔRD, said: “We produce by hand to create beautiful products that can be passed down through generations. Making our hip flasks by hand allows us to guarantee the quality, care and attention that goes into everything we produce and we’re incredibly proud of what we do here. The limited edition hip flask we’ve created for Benromach is a perfect example of our work and we’re thrilled with the end result.”
Keith Cruickshank, Distillery Manager at Benromach, said: “Our small team of distillers rely entirely on their expertise and senses to make the finest handmade whisky, matured exclusively in first-fill casks – it’s what we do and who we are. Made by hand for genuine character is how we started, and this is how we will continue the Benromach story. There may be a more efficient way of doing it, but here at Benromach we celebrate the rewards of all things handmade. The collaboration with HÔRD has produced something we are all incredibly proud of and the perfect complement to any single malt from Benromach Distillery.”
The HÔRD collaboration is the start of a series of partnerships in the Firsthand campaign. In the coming months Benromach will continue to introduce new brand collaborations that bring to life the art of handmade.
To find out more about Firsthand or to buy a limited edition Benromach x HÔRD hip flask, visit Benromach.com/Firsthand.