A brand new year deserves some reflections on the past year and what we learnt from the full 12 months that we survived. Geek Choc and Geek Flora recently sat down for a session of reflections for 2017/2018. Our conversation veered off towards whisky and life. We discovered that there are so many similarities!
It was a somewhat interesting discussion, and hence, we decided to post our thoughts on it. This post is dedicated to all whisky drinkers out there in the world.
Whisky and Life
Our musing took us back to our younger days when we first started learning to drink whisky. Our small group used to have this saying, “Life is like a glass of whisky, you appreciate it, and then you drink it.” As we reflected on 2017, we concluded that there was some truth in it. In life, we must learn to appreciate what we have, and then, we drink up all the good and the bad that life throws at us. There is no use in complaining about how tough life is. Someone else out there is probably having a harder time.
It was at this point that it hit both of us hard that whisky is life-changing. If we apply what we learn about whisky in our daily lives, we are likely to be happier human beings! We came up with five things about whisky-drinking that we can apply in our daily lives.
Look at the colour
When we drink whisky in a Glencairn glass, we tend to check out the colour of the whisky we are having. Swirl it around the glass to see the tears and hold the glass up to the light for a colour check. We take time to appreciate the beauty of whisky.
In life, we rush from one activity to the next; hardly stopping in our steps to watch the sky and clouds. We forget the flowers, the beautiful sights we can see in architecture and even the people close to us. If we can “look at the colours” of our lives in the same way we look at the colour of our whiskies, we could, perhaps, appreciate our lives better. Show more care for the people we love and show our appreciation for the beauty around us. Be thankful that we have a roof over our heads and a beautiful country to live in.
Nose the whisky
The next step in appreciating whisky is to nose it. We nose the whisky in the glass because we want to capture the aromas and guess how the palate will be. We love the nose because it invokes so much imagination of how the whisky will taste. It gives us a sense of longing to put the liquid in our mouths.
If we can slow down the activities in our lives, and stop to smell the flowers the same way we nose the whisky, we benefit from the slower pace. By asking you to smell the flowers, we are not saying that you should go to a park and physically smell all the flowers there! What we are suggesting, is to slow down and be mindful of the people around you. Every person whom you come along is a blooming flower; how we treat that person will result in either a bigger bloom or a wilted flower. It reminds us that we have to be polite and appreciative of the people around us.
Take a small sip before taking a bigger sip
We tend to drink in a two-steps method to get the full palate of the whisky when we drink. A small sip to coat the mouth and adjust the palate, before we take a bigger sip and hold the liquid in our mouth for a while to get the flavours. It is a helpful way for us to get the full picture of what the whisky is offering, and we think that it applies to life too.
We resolved to take things slower and do things in a two-step method as well. When we work, we want to handle the small things first before taking on the bigger challenge so that we will not be overwhelmed. By managing our workload, we make sure that we are not overly stressed and that helps to reduce mistakes and produce quality work. In the same way at home, getting the simple chores out of the way first can pave your energy to tackle the bigger tasks that need to be done.
Holding the Liquid in the Mouth for a full flavour
As mentioned above, we like to keep the liquid in the mouth for a short while for a full character. It helps us to detect the subtleness of the whisky and also explore the different aromas that we can get. At the same time, it coats the palate beautifully for us to appreciate the finish of the whisky after swallowing.
We thought that this is a useful method to use for communication in our daily lives. If we could hold the unkind words for a moment and think about the impact those words will have, we may not say it at all. In this hectic lifestyle that we lead, it is common for us to hurt another person’s feelings by merely uttering some unkind or thoughtless words. We damage the relationship and sometimes, even damage our reputation. It was indeed an excellent way for us to be kinder in 2018.
Taking Note of the Finish
The last step in our whisky appreciation is always about the finish. We check to see if the finish resonates with the nose and the palate and whether it is pleasant, dry, oily or otherwise. It is also the conclusion of the whisky tasting notes, and it helps us to consolidate the nose, palate and finish into what we call the balance or body of the whisky.
We liken the finish of whisky to our memories and past experiences. Just as a finish define the whisky, our memories and past experiences represent us, both the good and the bad. The good ones keep us going while the bad ones make us tougher. How we deal with bad memories and experiences also help us to learn and grow.
Taking small steps forward in appreciation
It was a thought-provoking session for us, and we hope that it has made you think harder as well. We can all take small steps forward in learning appreciation – for whisky, for life or both. There is no time to lose, and we are determined not to let 2018 slip away without us making the necessary changes in our lifestyles to include a “whisky-drinking session” in our everyday lives!
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