In Japan, the focus of the country’s spring celebrations is ‘hanami’, where the emergence of gorgeous pink blossoms from the native cherry trees prompts parties throughout the country as parks and streets burst into bloom.
It’s the perfect excuse to gather with friends or colleagues under the cherry trees to enjoy food, music, drink and good company – with the country’s devotion to the whisky highball likely to play a key part in hanami events. It’s a simple enough way to enjoy your whisky, with the flavour profile of your preference, ice in whatever shape or quantity you want, and as much or as little soda water as you care to add. The Japanese have elevated the preparation of the highball to a work of art, but you don’t have to sculpt your own ball of ice or stir the glass a specific number of times. However you take your whisky, though, enjoy the moment as the Japanese do – with a respect for the transient beauty of the cherry blossom, and the appreciation of a special moment in time.
Hanami, of course, is only one way to welcome the arrival of spring. If you happen to be in Thailand for example, there’s a good chance you’ll end up drenched during the songkran water festival, when everyone takes to the streets to mark the spring equinox by throwing and shooting water over each other. Take a songkran approach with our higher strength bottlings by adding some water to your dram, but approach it cautiously rather than drenching it straightaway.
In India it’s all about colour, with the end of winter and the start of the spring growing season marked with holi – and this time celebrated not by throwing water but with vibrantly coloured dyes. Celebrate the spectrum of colours in our whiskies by lining up a flight from the typically light and golden shade of an ex-bourbon barrel through to the deeper mahogany hue of an ex-oloroso sherry cask.
In Scotland the arrival of spring is marked in various ways. Specific towns such as Lanark hold the curious tradition of ‘Whuppity Scoorie’, when the local children run around the town’s church in a practice said to originate in a ritual to expel evil spirits before the arrival of spring. Elsewhere, people gather at the site of ancient stones such as Orkney’s Ring of Brodgar to mark the arrival of the equinox or ‘equal night’ – the time of year when night and day are the same length before the darkness starts to retreat. It sounds like a Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits flavour profile dram would be the perfect way to celebrate.
Whether you choose to mark the changing of the season by seeking out cherry blossoms or standing stones, delve into our March Outturn to find the perfect spring bottling to bring some light into your life – and savour the pleasures of a Society cask whisky before it’s gone forever.