Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy Hogmanay!!!

Happy New Year!!!  Or as the Scot’s say Happy Hogmanay!!   Cara and I had never heard of this “Hogmanay" stuff before, so in the lead up to new years eve, we were both confused as to what the locals were talking about. 

We eventually learnt that the term “Hogmanay”, is the Scottish word for the last day of the year. It is also common in Scotland for the new years party to go on long after the clock strikes 12. In fact, Hogmanay is celebrated well into new years day, sometimes it can even go on until the 2nd January (which is a Scottish public holiday).  Hogmanay has many local customs. Many are a just a myth, however some of the more common customs require you to have a nip of whisky at midnight. Another custom, requires you to allow the first person who knocks on your door after midnight, into your house and offer them whisky, no matter if they are strangers or not. I don’t know how stringently people stick to these customs, But most of them involve some kind of consumption of scotch.

This was also a good time for Cara and I to reflect on the last year and remind ourselves of all the places we’ve been and the sights we’ve seen. It’s been truly unforgettable. This year we’ve set foot in 8 different countries. We’ve seen some amazing sights, eaten some delicious food and drunk quite a few great cocktails. Next year is going to be even more exciting as we start to wrap up our world tour and head home to Australia.

Cara had got me another little present for christmas, which I was saving for the Hogmanay celebrations. A small bottle of Lagavulin 16 yr old scotch. I’d heard great reviews about Lagavulin, so I was looking forward to giving this a try.  Something I’ve done a lot of since living in Scotland is broaden my whisky palette and Lagavulin whisky can certainly help me broaden it ever further. This deep amber whisky has bold flavours. On the nose it has a strong smokey smell. A flavour, which translates to the mouth. This is a malt that you need to sip slowly as its smokey, peppery taste gives you an explosion of flavour. Some people have said that this scotch is too strong. I can understand why many critics think this. It’s full body taste, can get over powering. I however, didn’t mind it. I get the impression that Lagavulin is what real scotch drinkers would drink. It has that “If you can drink this, you’re a real Scot” connotations. I may be wrong.

Last year we saw in the New Year in a packed out Trafalgar Square in London. This year it was a little more mellow, but still no less special.  Despite this trip slowly coming to an end, the last 4 months is going to be jam-packed. It's exciting stuff!!!

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