What Music Will You be Drinking to on Valentine’s?

"The thirst that from the soul doth rise

Doth ask a drink divine;

But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,

I would not change for thine."

                                             - Ben Johnson

Music has been known to stoke the embers of love, but of late an undeniable correlation between a specific sort of music and the way your whisky tastes has been observed. This notion cannot be easily dismissed as music, as we know, has the power to stir up emotions from deep within. You cannot, after all, easily dismiss that veritable lump in your throat, the sweat on your brow, the little tear that streams down your cheek. You cannot deny that your soul was moved, or that your heart was touched, though you’d be hard put to explain exactly what that means. The subtle chemistry of how your tipple tastes while listening to a certain genre of music, in the same way, is not yet that simply explained, though wine tasters have undergone several musical experiments towards this end. Sounds a lot like love?

If you want to know if the melody, rhythm, or pitch affects the way your taste buds respond, you need to find out first hand. Light as air, vanilla and citrusy flavours are best when you drink them with Andy and the Bey Sisters on vinyl, for instance. Django Reinhardt is best appreciated when paired with whisky which has gingerbread, cinnamon and honey notes, and Duke Ellington sounds best when you have a glass of sweet and spicy whisky-- neat – or perhaps on the rocks.

There is certainly no cut and dried formula to enhance your experience, just like that nerve-tingling chemistry between you and your “bae”. You might like to mix and match your whisky-music pairings with them this Valentine’s Day. There’s no telling where that might lead the two of you!

If you’re going to be in America that week:

Jay Kauffman, the classical guitarist who is known for his fluid and expressive music, will be playing a story-set-vignette from his original composition called Archipelago for Guitar which is both romantic and very dramatic. He will also play carnavalitos, romanzas, romances, zambas, capriccios and a set from The Beatles. The evening looks set to be exhilarating, especially if you sip on a good old Glenlivet to go with it. Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday this year, so the concert is on a Sunday afternoon, starting at 4pm at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum near New York.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Erykah Badu is going to be live in concert in San Francisco on the big day at The Armory. Plan ahead and book your tickets online, and have a heady scotch like Chivas Regal, or an Aberlour, at hand. Or even an exotic cocktail that will help you tune into the soul music that night.

If it’s Vegas that the two of you are going to be at on the big day, you can head to the Bruno Mars concert at the Park Theater in Monte Carlo. Get a good single malt to go with, and you’ll never guess what happens next. So keep your fingers crossed!

And if you’re going to be in Mumbai, you should totally go for the Mahindra Blues Festival in Hill Road, Bandra, at Mehboob Studios on the 10th and 11th of February. This is Asia’s largest blues festival with a fantastic line-up of amazing international musicians. Make sure you have a great whisky to go along with it. You are sure to have a memorable experience.

Once you’ve tried out a few combinations of excellent whisky and excellent music, you will have a notion as to what your unique taste in musically-influenced whisky might be like. These are just a few pointers. They serve as a point of reference, that’s all. Soon, you and your significant other will have developed your very own distinctive style in the way you take in the good things of life and be that much the richer for them. You might soon start associating your Bach with your favourite 100 Pipers, and your Eartha Kitt with a rich, full-bodied Talisker.

Let this Valentine’s Day set the tone for the way you experience what you love.

Legend of Byeway, the Glenrothes Distillery Phantom
Reviewing Andrew Jefford’s Peat Smoke & Spirit