Need another excuse to pour a dram? No matter how you spell your favorite drink, May 18 is World Whisky Day. Bars, distillers and anyone with a bottle can join in on the fun by holding a free registered event. Just promise us you won’t go it alone.
For this annual celebration, which has fallen on the third Saturday in May since 2012, you can thank its Scottish founder, Blair Bowman. No grizzled whisk(e)y enthusiast, the author of The Pocket Guide to Whisky has yet to hit 30.
“It’s definitely achieved its goal of reaching new people because it was always about bringing new people into the industry,” Bowman said of his invention in a 2017 interview. With or without World Whisky Day’s help, those noobs include millennials, who favor Irish whiskey, CNBC reports. We’re thinking it goes great with pea toast.
A walk in the woods
To get you into the WWD spirit, Brendan Hodrien of the Independent rounds up 12 bottles from around the globe, with an emphasis on Europe.
By the sound of things, we’d happily get lost in Forest Whisky Blend Number Two by England’s Forest Distillery. “The nose of this expression is deep and sweet with orchard fruit and caramel, the [palate] is a pleasing mixture of cereal and spice,” Hodrien says, “moderated by vanilla and smoke with sophisticated oak notes taking the reins and gliding the liquid into a lingering finish of burnt wood and orange.”
Also: Japanese blend Nikka Days, whose nose is “busting with fresh apples, barley and citrus,” according to Hodrien. “The [palate] is immensely smooth and carries through the orchard fruit but emphasizes a complex alignment of liquorice, citrus, oak and chocolate, the finish is decadently sweet and creamy with a peppering of spice.”
Hodrien recommends a drop or two of water with 45% ABV Seven Stars No. 2 Merak from Spirit of Hven, a pot still operation on a tiny southern Swedish island. “The nose is made up of orchard fruits over a campfire,” he says of the smoky, certified organic single malt, which is aged in American, French and Spanish oak. The palate? It “mingles warm spices with candied orange peel, leading into a peaty and lasting finish.” A slice of Hven.