Today, 8 Dec, is a special day. I celebrate it every year; the anniversary of my brother-in-law donating a kidney to his sister, Cim, my wife. Part of the celebration is sending a bottle of whisky to Jonas. It’s a token of thanks and acknowledgement but cannot really express the depth of gratitude we both feel for how much of a difference that act of heroism has made to our lives. Going to Antarctica? Not even thinkable.
This year is ten years, and being a round number, I feel that this year’s whisky should be extra special in some way. On the 5th anniversary, I bought the Highland Park Hjärta, a limited edition whisky whose name (heart) spoke to the issue. Getting it to Jonas in the north of Sweden was a bit of an odyssey. How could I top that? Should I even try?
Another Highland Park might fit the bill, and there are some very fine, very expensive whiskies, some of which are even harder get hold of than the Hjärta. Perhaps one from the range named after Norse gods and warriors. I haven’t tasted many of them and it’s important to me that it’s something I know he (and I) will really like. Too risky?
What about the “World’s Best Whisky”, as decided by Jim Murray in his annual whisky Bible? Ballantine’s 17 year-old won that accolade one year. And even if a blend was a departure from the usual single malt, it was very much appreciated when I gave that.
The Whisky Bible winner for 2015, the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013, would be a strong candidate. I’ve tasted it, and it is gob-smackingly gorgeous. It is however, nigh-on impossible to get, as is last year’s winner, the Glenmorangie Eleanta.
In the end, whatever whisky, I know, it doesn’t really have to be precious or rare, Jonas. It’s about being able to celebrate. But even if no whisky can ever really do, we might as well make it as good as we can, yeah? What will it be? I hope you can wait until we see you next.