Whisky and Wanderlust: Meet Jay, the Whisky Pirate

Imagine a 21st - century pirate – not a roving ruthless outlaw scouting oceans for treasures, but an apparently innocuous fellow who’s always on the hunt for something that’s pleasing to the senses. Meet Jae Cole, aka The Whiskey Pirate, who finds his mojo in whiskey and wanderlust, and firmly believes that “Life is too short to be bored”.

A whiskey and beer aficionado since childhood, this modern day freebooter has been on a constant quest for sipping, tasting and reviewing something new. He’s certain that the world of whiskey is no short of treasures worth pursuing and that the value of such treasures increase a manifold when they are shared with good friends.

As a kid, Jae was always fond of the outdoors. From camping with his father to just leisurely strolling around the woods, his penchant for adventure started kicking in early. By the time he reached mid-20s, he realized that his urge to stay outside and soak in all that Nature had to offer only grew more and more. In no time, small day trips started turning into extended weekend escapades. Before any other event could shape his destiny, he held the reign and set off on a quest to find himself by travelling around the world.

Tryst with Whiskey and Wanderlust

When he was 28, Jae gave his life a complete overhaul. He quit his job which had sustained him for 8 years just to give wings to his dreams. He started off with a month and a half long jaunt driving solo cross country only to follow it up with a couple of weeks in Europe. It was during this time that he had one of the most memorable trysts with whiskey.

Jae was hiking along the shore of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana, when he suddenly worked up a pretty good appetite. But before settling down for dinner, he wanted to visit a local distillery named Glacier Distilling Co. in Caram MT to check out their inventory, which he eventually found really interesting.

After tasting a handful of samples and stocking a bottle to take back home, it was finally time for him to get some food. Jae stopped by a local BBQ trailer which was about to close for the day. There was sadly not much to make for a regular meal but the trailer man was kind enough to pack him a brunch with just about everything he was left with, just to ensure that he wasn’t hungry for the evening.

Now with dinner sorted, Jae started to drive back toward campsite past Lake McDonald. It was already late evening and the sun was just above the mountain line. The major chunk of the park visitors was gone – all back to their respective campsites for dinner. Jae slowly started to sink into the magical ambiance, when suddenly a thought dawned on him. He was reluctant to drive back to the campsite which was buried in trees – closer to the crowd. Instead he chose to sit right there and munch on his BBQ. And, why not? He had the gorgeous lake all to himself. He could just settle down anywhere he wanted.

Jae stopped the car at the next pull off. He grabbed his meal and walked straight down to the bank of the gigantic lake. As far as he could see, it was just him. The lake, the trees, the shading sun– everything belonged to him for that moment. It took a good few minutes for his senses to hurl back into reality. He slowly parked himself on a rock, opened up the Styrofoam container and started to fork down on the delicious meat and sauce. He believed that paradise was right there, so very tangible.

As he filled himself up, an overwhelming feeling of peace swept over him. It was the kind of peace which he hadn’t felt in a long time. He continued to take it all in and continued to do so until the sun sank into the west end of the lake.

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This was just an excerpt from his expedition to Glacier National Park. In addition to this, Jae has an entire string of travel experiences to share – starting from enjoying a drink in a geothermal spring of Iceland to sipping on a glass of Aquavit in a Snow Hotel.

For people like Jae, the real joy of life comes with their encounters with extraordinary life events like the one mentioned above. They aren’t essentially conditioned to a life of conformity, conservatism, and security. Balance to them is all about embracing and enjoying all that life offers, every day.   

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