We send one of whiskey’s great and good off to our island, but what will they take?
Sailor Guevara is quite the whiskey force to be reckoned with. When you combine her encyclopaedic knowledge of whisk(e)y, ability to portray the liquid and its history at its finest, and podcasting wizardry, the Uncle Nearest brand ambassador and Icon of Whisky 2020 winner was a natural choice for a trip to our island.
First, I will bring Uncle Nearest 1884 with me. And yes, I work for the brand and I am proud to say I love our whiskey, but that is not the only reason. One of the things I love most about the whiskey business is the people, histories and stories behind the bottles. I have been able to spend a lot of in person and virtual time with our master blender Victoria Eady Butler. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Uncle Nearest. So in this bottle of our small batch blend is her love, her laughter, her hugs, her favorite flavors and the story of her family.
Now these are in no particular order. This whisky is often said to be an orchestra of flavors, I love that and I get it, what an elegant and thought-provoking way to describe the experience of this whisky.
In 1989 the Hibiki brand was launched to commemorate Suntory’s 90th anniversary. Hibiki is embraced as the ‘paragon of The Art of Japanese Whisky, the very product of Japanese nature and her people’. That just moves me so, I’m not sure why but it really struck a chord with me when I first learned about the brand. So Hibiki will provide the music I would be missing.
15 Years Old
Alright, off to another part of the world. Steeped in history in a country so adored around the world, this brand is considered the “definitive expression of the traditional Irish spirit”. This gorgeous single pot still Irish whiskey just has everything I want in this flavor profile. It’s colorful and brings a myriad of fruit flavors. So I see colors and the sea, the super electric greens that you can only experience in Ireland.
18 Years Old Viking Pride
I could never leave Scotch whisky behind. For a category that I was not excited about for a long time in my whisk(e)y journey, I have become a huge fan of Scotch and fallen deeply in love. I am a Highland girl, I don’t think I will ever develop a palate for heavily peated whisky. Yet, I have found some brands that do it just right for me, and because I am searching for variety I will choose Highland Park 18 Years Old Viking Pride. It’s no secret that I am a Metalhead, a lover of rock. And I’m a bit scrappy. I’m going to need something to keep my tenacity at full strength if I am to build radios out of coconuts.
Indian Creek Distillery
Elias Staley Rye
Last but certainly not least, I now come back to the US. There is a special place that I hold very dear, a place full of family history and the spirit of early American pioneers. Staley Farm is located in Southwest Ohio right near a tiny historic town called Tipp City. On this farm that has been owned by the same family for six generations sits Indian Creek Distillery which is run by two people who are very dear to me. My favorite happens to be their white rye, a category that I am very passionate about and hope to see gain a rightful place in the American whiskey world. This white rye they called Elias Staley Rye, after the founder of the farm, distillery and gristmill (which is still standing). It is an entire world of flavor, history and a look back to early whiskey and the beauty that it was.
A luxury Item
As for a luxury item, this is subjective right? I mean I could bring a razor, or sunscreen, is there cell service, can I bring a phone? Bug spray? I am really struggling with either a lifetime supply of toilet paper or a Swiss Army knife. I’ll be alone out there so I guess the Swiss Army knife!