Whisky + Time in Nature: A Match Made in Heaven
Spending time drinking whisky and time spent in nature are two activities that may seem unrelated, but there are many crossover points between the two. We believe that these two experiences come together to provide a unique and enriching way to connect with nature, unwind, and appreciate the finer things in life.
The appreciation of whisky involves learning about the history, production, and taste of different whiskies. This process often involves taking the time to carefully smell, taste, and savor the flavors of each whiskey. By slowing down and focusing on the sensory experience, you can learn to identify and appreciate the nuances of different whiskies. Any discussion about whisky ultimately leads quickly to nature. Grain, water, yeast, wood - there's a general focus on natural elements that combine to generate a world of flavours and nuances that we marvel at.
We've loved discovering Japanese culture generally, but we're the first to admit our induction was enhanced through the enjoyment of the Japanese whisky industry. And one concept in Japanese culture- which is not exclusive to Japanese culture by any means - was the concept of forest bathing.
Forest bathing: is the practice of immersing oneself in nature to reduce stress, increase mental clarity, and boost overall well-being. This activity can involve simply taking a walk in a forest or park, but it can also be more structured, such as guided walks or yoga in nature. Whilst Japan doesn't own the idea of time spent in nature, the term originated there and we believe they were well ahead of the west in using nature as an antidote to the stresses of modern life with their active and mindful pursuit of time in forests as a remedy.
The synergies between whisky and forest bathing are numerous. For one, both activities encourage slowing down and being present in the moment. In today's fast-paced world, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, and these activities provide a way to step back, relax, and connect with the world around us.
Additionally, both activities involve paying close attention to our senses. To really enjoy whisky you're required to use your senses of smell and taste to identify the different flavors and aromas in each dram, while forest bathing encourages us to use all of our senses to connect with nature. Whether it's the sound of leaves rustling in the wind, the smell of fresh pine, the idea is that you actively use your senses to fully immerse ourselves in the experience. For us, this is just like the enjoyment of a glass of whisky. The more you slow down and focus on the liquid in the glass - the more aware you become to its nuances. And this is what elevates the experience.
Finally, both whisky and forest bathing done right can provide a sense of luxury and indulgence. The key, we believe, is finding the time to appreciate something in detail. To study the connections that you need to pay attention to in order to notice. We're all too busy in today's world - and taking time to slow down and relax is a luxury in itself. Nature, like whisky, is layered, nuanced and infinitely complex. Slowing down, removing distractions and allowing a sense of wonder and marvel to emerge from an experience is a life affirming practice.
But rather than simply point out the synergies between the two- we encourage you to combine them. We are blenders after all! And in this case one enhances the other.
The story of Experience N.5 is a tale of lockdown. Woven was just an idea but we'd committed to making it real. Pete and myself were both staying in Gullane, and unable to meet indoors spent many hours walking in the East Lothian countryside, especially a beautiful stretch of forest along the coast in Gullane. What we realised was that these meetings were the ones where the ideas emerged. Thoughts were more divergent. Clarity on direction was achieved. And a forest dram is an experience in itself.
As such - when we started noticing aromas in samples of whisky that reminded us of the aroma of the damp pine forest floor we'd unsuspectingly banked in our memories the idea emerged to create a whisky that captured the experience of time spent in nature. And Experience N.5 // Joy in Nature was born.
Pete's wife is called Joy too, and she's also a Nemophilist so it works on many levels!
In conclusion, whisky drinking and forest bathing are two activities that complement each other beautifully. Whether you're a seasoned whisky enthusiast or a nature lover, taking the time to slow down and appreciate the world around us can help us live a more fulfilling and enriching life. So why not take a walk in the woods, find a quiet spot to sit and relax, and pour yourself a dram?
Shop Experience N.5.1 // Joy in Nature here.