Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Drinking with the Gallows Bird

Despite being a complete and utter city-girl (read: I live in Helsinki for a reason, not in the forests of Finland), there are times when things can lure me out of the comfort and "bustle" of the city (that's in quotes because if you've seen the "busy-ness" of this city, it's quite laughable).

One of those things is the promise of an amazing drink with a well-worn and fun group of friends.

Such was the case after a heavy but wonderful day of shopping at the Design Market. It was one of those events you tilt your head at because of the oddity of the situation: the celebration of the coronation of Mary I, Queen of Scots. Oh yes, that's right, Mary, Queen of Scots. A celebration of her coronation. At a Scottish bar. In the middle of Espoo.

I have proof, please take a look:

Yessss, Espoo. You remember that place, right? Where my friend German K and I were abandoned in the middle of the forest for Weekend Fest? Yes, exact same place. Though this bar was located in one of its "centers." (The quotes this time are because there are technically three city centers in Espoo, which is confusing enough as it is, and...as everything in scale in Finland...they are also, quite laughable).

Anyway, my friends and I piled into the bus and made our way to Espoo (all being city-folk or reasonably close-resemblants-therefore-of). Actually this place was quite close to "civilization." It was even closer than some of the places I've been driven to by my coworker to eat lunch out in Espoo (read: driven to...that's how far things are out here...in the boonies).

As soon as we walk in the door: blaring bagpipes. More bagpipes than I've ever heard. Including the time I was in Scotland. Many bagpipes. Loud bagpipes. So many bagpipes that you can't hear what the person next to you is saying. But at least bagpipes that were in tune. And were playing recognizable songs. Guess you can't really ask for more, technically speaking...from a set of bagpipes.

Since it was the special coronation celebration, there were many special things on tap and otherwise offered, so we all took full advantage of the special brews. Me and mine (meaning many of the girls) especially ordered this:

Glory in a bottle, otherwise known as whisky-casked cider. Absolutely amazing.

Not very sweet, full-bodied, and gorgeously aromatic, it was just the thing. Fantastic.

After that came the heavyweights. Whiskys. Our group changed tone and decided to try out the rather large assortment of specialties. Tasty, very tasty. Being an uneducated noob at such things, I let the Scotsman of the group choose mine for me (after hearing what my preferences were). Not too shabby I'd say:

It still shocks me how strong some of these things can be, but I do enjoy how the flavor changes as you hold it in your mouth and breathe. I was only taught recently about such things so, my appreciation is naive, but growing. :)

Anyway, we had a merry night laughing and talking around the bagpipes. It will be a night not soon forgotten - celebrating the Scottish queen in the middle of the forests of Espoo.

1 comment:

  1. Yay Scotland! I see you perhaps tried the Auchentoshen 3Wood? Very nice. =)

    Next step, go find the Talisker Anniversary or the Talisker 18yr. Dried fruit, vanilla, and a final pepper kick. If you want a mouth of classic smoked peat, Lagavulin 16yr is just the ticket.