A good friend of ours (and fellow whisky fan), the brilliant photographer Tomas Whitehouse was over in the UK from Helsinki to visit family. He stopped in for a dram or two during the Christmas period with his partner Tuuli, and we talked long into the night about all manner of things.
Along the way, we had a few real treats: a New Zealand whisky, the Thomson 17 year-old which is surprisingly light and citrus; the Jura Superstition (a default dram – especially when I’ve run out of the Prophecy); the Ardbeg Still Young committee bottling; and – since it was a special occasion – I cracked open the Lagavulin 12 year-old Special Release (cask strength, bottled in 2008) – which I certainly don’t regret.
As we sipped our whisky and listened to some good jazz, the conversation turned to tobacco. Tomas had recently started exploring the flavours of a range of pipe tobaccos and cigars with a friend of his in Finland, and began to fill me in on the knowledge he’d gleaned about different types of pipe, the ways in which to dry out the tobacco, how best to go about developing an appreciation of it, and where to get the best stuff online for a decent price.