I Found The Mothership

In two days I will board my 8th shiny metal lawn dart of the year on my way through Ottawa to Iqaluit with Nic (whom you might remember as the guy who wore the T-rex research onesie on our trip to Rigolet last year). We’re heading north to meet with colleagues to chat about community-based monitoring and the eNuk program, and with any luck, get some time to enjoy the remote landscape while we are there.

Those who’ve been following along with my adventures on the Instagram might be thinking – didn’t you just return from a week in Vancouver? And the answer would be yes, yes I did. But as is customary for me these days, I’m only home long enough to do my laundry, have a few meetings, and snuggle with the wee fuzzball before I’m off again.

The trip to Vancouver was (as usual) fantastic. I got to spend time catching up with the good Dr Beth while working with the good Dr Jason on a rather large grant proposal. Of course, the trip wasn’t all work – it may or may not have included a visit to one of the best scotch bars I’ve ever had the chance to visit.

For those curious, the scotch bar in question is known as Fets Whisky Kitchen. It has approximately all the scotch, and I’m sure I’d make it my life mission to sample each and every one if I lived in the area1.

On entry, I was greeted with a library-esque catalogue of scotch and whisky. It was at once overwhelming and beautiful. I stood in awe, wondering which of the bottles I might sample, and how I might make a home in this my mothership. The diversity, while full of opportunity, was entirely intimidating. Fortunately, the staff helped quickly identify a scotch based on the information that Jason and I had provided to them. Our first dram was a lovely Ardbeg Kelpie. It was peaty and salty and smokey and entirely delicious.

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I’ve found my mothership.

A post shared by Dan Gillis (@dangillis) on

We continued to peruse the collection of scotches available at our fingertips as we savoured the flavours of the Ardbeg in hand. There wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to our search method, but we eventually found ourselves staring at the two most expensive drams on the menu – the Bruichladdich vintage 1970 and Bruichladdich vintage 1973. I’d like to say we debated ordering them, but that’s probably only true if debate, in this case, means we looked at each other with a mischievous smirk. And then we had them both in hand, inhaling the incredible aromas, admiring their golden hues. One had stronger notes of fruits, the other vanilla and brown sugar, both smooth and wonderful.

While I get that not everyone is a scotch fan, I have to say that this was an incredible experience – one that I hope to have again when next I return to Vancouver. With any luck, that’ll be later this spring or summer.

Beth – once again thanks for an amazing visit and for letting me crash on your couch. It sucks that you’re all the way over there, and I’m all the way over here, but considering how often I’m in Vancouver, I guess it’s not really a problem. Jason – thanks for organizing the scotch adventure, for helping with the grant writing, and mostly for being a kick-ass kind of guy. You’re all sorts of alright.


1 Hmmm, that sounds like quitter talk. I should probably make it my mission regardless.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Beth says:

    It was great to spend some time catching up with you too! And to meet Jason and Marina, who are both super kick-ass!

    I would also like to point out that the photo for this blog posting is the view from my living room window. I hope everyone is suitably jealous.

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