Sunday, March 17, 2013

GUEST BLOGGER - The one and only Josh Feldman (@Cooperedtot)

It is with greatest pleasure that we host this prolific blogger out of sabbatical for this post, the one and only Joshua Feldman (Cooperedtot).  Thanks Josh for the fantastic write up and for participating in #BushmillsMB today.

Black Bush Evolution
The new Black Bush Bottle(image courtesty of G-LO

Happy Saint Patrick's day!  I’m honored to be guest posting on The Perfect Whisky Match.  Johanne & Graham are the BEST.  This is a special St. Patrick’s day for the whisky bloggers of the world because the creative and generative Johanne McInnish has spawned a world-wide whisky blogger Flash Mob Blog (#BushmillsMB on twitter).  Celebrating St. Patrick’s day means, for millions, having an Irish Whiskey and for me, growing up in the USA, that meant Bushmill's and Jameson.  Bushmill’s is from Northern Ireland, part of the UK, while Jameson’s is from the independent Republic of Ireland - but Americans don’t really pay much attention.  It’s all “Irish”.  White Bushmill's - the cheapest and most grainy - was a sometime object of my college era “shooting sessions” and NYC St. Patrick's day celebrations of yore.  Black Bush costs a more than the White, but has a lot more malt whisky in the blend making it a fine sipper.  Black Bush, like most Irish whiskies is triple distilled and made from both malted and unmalted barley.  The triple distilling makes it very clean and soft.  The Bushmill’s distillery character is a lovely minty sweetness that tastes “green” like Ireland.  Critics have been supportive.  Paul Pacult said (one the way to giving it 4 stars):  

“Possesses a high ratio of malt whiskey (85%, I believe)...  One of the greatest whiskeys from Ireland, bar none. A delicious tot that I enjoy time and again, at home and on the road. Brilliant.”

Ian Buxton puts Black Bush at #36 on his excellent latest tome “101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die”.   He also points out a high proportion of malt whisky (and mentions that the grain whisky component isn’t made by Bushmills - but is made by Midleton in the Republic of Ireland to the South).   He says that the malt in Black Bush is matured for 8-10 years in Oloroso casks before the addition of the grain whiskey.  He points out that Diageo purchased Bushmills in 2005 and has been “sprucing up the joint” and is planning big things for Bushmills.  He concludes: “watch this space”.  

Personally, I’ve been a bit less impressed.  Black Bush is nice stuff, but I taste the grain and sometime in the late 1990s, I sealed up my bottle of Black Bush and put it away rested, forgotten until just last year.  When I started drinking it again I wasn’t blown away. In my formal review I gave it two stars.</a>  When the word went around that there was going to be a flash mob blog of Black Bush I knew I was going to have to grab some of the new release.  I  had heard the flavor profile had changed.   And based on Pacult’s and Buxton’s glowing reviews and the fact that ownership had changed in 2005 I assumed that the changes were for the better.  So, when I came across a fresh bottle of the new Black Bush I, rather selfishly, kept the new one and gave the old one away (reserving a sample for a head to head review - of course).   I’ll start with the new fresh version:

(image courtesty of G-LO - Black Bush’s current bottle - 750ml.

Black Bush 2013 40%

Color: full gold

Nose:  A pleasant nose with light and gentle scents of ripe cantaloup, cake batter, vanilla, and powdered Turkish delight.  There are some younger grain notes too, with deeper nosing, sweet straw, threshed fresh oats, ladies powder puff notes and a slight whiff of medicinal alcohol.  This is way up from the White Label stuff.

The entry is sweet with malt and vinous sugars.  Fulsome malt guides the mid-palate expansion, but the sweet bright clean sweetness of Irish whiskey owns the whole fore palate: sweet and gently minty and admixed with a clear influence of sherried wood. The mid-palate peak is gentle and quite tasty with juicy fruit, gentle distant grapey port wine, and the minty clean giving way to a gentle tired oaky squeak.  The oak on the turn is oh so gentle.  The finish is short, but pleasantly gentle: lightly oaked and slightly malty sweet.  Throughout the tasting the flavors of malt dominate the grain flavors which show up as a slight medicinal burn and a lightness in density.  This is the best Black Bush yet.  Or is it?  


Black Bush’s late 1990s bottle label (1.125 liters)

Black Bush late 1990s 40%

Color: full gold (identical)

Nose: dry hay, powdered malt,  some slight sulfur notes of flint that add some cumin complexity. Pear fruits and distant vanilla peak shyly out from beneath the dry spice.  The whole nose is drier and less inviting than the new Black Bush's, but more complex and interesting too.

The entry is less effusively sweet and less vinous than the current version, but has an august quality in the admittedly distant sherry that somehow makes up for it.  The mid-palate expansion parallels the new Black Bush with the minty sweet freshness of Irish Whisky playing sprightly with the richer sherry and light grainy burn (but owning the grain).  But here the sherried notes are drier, more august with hints of rancio and age.  The turn to the finish is a bit more tart, with old sherry acids and a whiff more musty wood.  The finish is short - but longer than the new stuff's: more sherried and oaky too.

In an extended re-tasting I find that I like this better than I did before.  It’s solid 3 stars territory.   Maybe it’s the direct head to head format, or maybe it’s my more educated palate now - but I get all those lovely sherry notes.


So, Diageo has upped Black Bush's game.  Black Bush is fruitier and more richly sweet now.  But something has also been lost.  The old sherry flavors were more sophisticated and authentic, if a tad more reticent - particularly in the nose.  I'm tempted to speculate that "real" sherry casks might be too expensive now - and that Black Bush is now made with sherry conditioned casks or that younger, sweeter, and less august grape wine is involved in the sherry - but perhaps more of it.  But I’m just guessing.   Anyway - both eras of Black Bush are recommended.  Fine sipping with a minty sherried Irish frame of mind.

- Coop

BUSHMILL BLACK BUSH - Twitter Flash Mob!

She said:  Serendipity is always part of my life it seems.  I tend to be at the right place and at the right time about 95% of that time.  So, it doesn't surprise me that when a blogger's facebook group was created and the "creator" added me that great discussions and ideas were born there.  At one point, one of the newer writers asked a question in a post.  It was something fairly simply:  "How do you keep your posts fresh or exciting for the readers?"  I thought about it for awhile and honestly being fairly new to the whole blogging world myself, I almost didn't answer thinking that I certainly wasn't qualified to be answering the question to begin with.  Needless to say, I'm glad I did because it sparked this:  A FLASH MOB BLOG.  I'm sorry, a what you say???   Here is an example of a flash mob.  It is planned, but surprises everyone.  It's quite fun to watch the crowd's reactions.

So when we decided to do it (our bloggers are world wide) we chose St. Patrick's Day and of course we had to pick an Irish Whiskey.  The decision was so easy:  Bushmills Black Bush.  Why?  Because it is truly a global whisky that is not only available almost everywhere, it's a value for money whisky which means it's not overly expensive so almost everyone actually had a bottle in their private collections.  Bushmills is the first Irish whisky I had ever tried.  When I had the Black Bush, I was truly amazed it is a blend.  Now mind you it's 80% malt and 20% grain, but none the less a blend and a delicious one at that.  It's part of my standard collection which means the house is never without it.  I love to share it with friends, cook with it but mostly on a cold March night, I love to sip it with a little bit of ice and just watch the world go by.  So here's to being Irish and here's to Bushmills!   I hope you enjoy all the posts:

So, sit back and relax with a nice Irish Whiskey (preferably Black Bush) and be prepared to read, watch all of these reviews.  Some of them are simply outrageous, where others are great reads!

On the Irish trail in my Sassy Lassie wear, I remain

Whisky Lassie

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Funny thing happened on the way to the Compass Box Twitter Tasting

One of the most difficult things about being on twitter sometimes is sitting on the sidelines watching the UK twitter tastings.  I liken it to that kid that would show up at the soccer game and he would just stand on the white line watching.  "Come on!" the other kids yell to him.  But he can't because he's wearing his school uniform and good shoes.  So he just stands, watches and envies that all the other kids get to play.  If you don't follow twitter as often as I do (hourly), Whisky Twitter Tastings happen weekly.  I can spend two hours watching 12-20 people trying the latest whiskies and discussing them at length.  Me and my "good shoes" can't take part because we are in North America.  Sigh...  So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when, one of the leaders using social media (since 2011) for whisky tastings, tweeted that they would be hosting a transatlantic twitter tasting for International Women's Day using Compass Box. Not only was it a first for a twitter tasting and for women it was COMPASS BOX!  I quickly responded to be on the list. People may not realize the work that goes into hosting a whisky tasting, even less about a virtual one.  The logistics are mind boggling and I was nervous from the get go as to how they would pull this off.
So here is where it sort of gets silly as my life often does.  The samples were coming from New York and being sent to a personal American mailbox I own in Maine.  As of Tuesday (two days before the tasting) I had yet to receive a message stating they were in.  Thursday, I was really starting to get nervous but thankfully around 2:00pm I got the call.  I literally dashed to my car and drove to my mailbox arriving at 3:15 to find a sign on the door stating they were out for 15 minutes.  I waited.  Their debit machine was down and I had no cash so now I find myself jumping into the car and driving to two different banks before I found one whose banking machines were not down.  By the time that part of my fiasco was over with and I had parcel in hand it was 3:55.  I crossed into Canada, declared my samples which of course lead to going in and paying for duty/taxes, etc..   After a poor confused officer finally understood what I was talking about (thankfully I had the twitter tasting invite on my IPhone) I paid minimal duty/taxes (he was now convinced I wasn't trying to sell my samples in Canada) and I was sent on my way.  It's was now 4:20.  The tasting was due to start at 5:00pm Atlantic Time and I had at least one hour to drive before I was in my own driveway.  Well I thought, I'll drive until I can't drive anymore and then I'll park it to do the tasting if it comes to that.

Strapped in for the drive!
I stopped on the side of the road, unwrapped the three lovely samples   and strapped them into the passenger seat beside me.  If we (me and the samples) were in this together, then by all means they had to be as ready as I was.  Come hell or high water I WAS ATTENDING THIS TASTING!  At 4:45 I was getting close to a small town so I turned off the highway and proceeded to drive through St. George NB (pop 1500).  There is one hotel in that area and I knew it had WIFI so I put the blinker on and parked the car in the furthest part of their parking lot.  I scrambled for pen, paper, something to nose my whiskies from and of course get my phone ready.  All the while, I must admit giggling to myself out loud at the absurdity of my situation.  If this doesn't show dedication to my passion, I don't know what does? 
yes that's a snowbank!

So, with a few minutes to spare I took the lovely bottles and placed them on my dashboard.  Pen in hand I took down the hashtags:  #WhiskyandWomen and #IWD.  And so we began, women from around the world on twitter together, ready to sample and discuss three lovely mystery whiskies from Compass Box, with me in my car on the side of the road in a hotel parking lot.  (It never dawned on my at the time that to anyone else this may sound particularly disturbing or worse illegal but I'll get back to that at the end of my story...)  Where was I?  Oh yes, we were beginning.  Our hosts Steven Rush and Compass Box Lilly welcomed everyone and we immediately began nosing whisky sample #1.

#1 - Nosing:  Very light and floral in nature with a bit of a variety of soft warm spices.  I was transported to a sweet tropical fruit salad:  Coconut, bananas, mangoes, ripe pears and melons.  The spices were there but almost honeyed in nature.  Palate: (I took a very small sip and swished it around) I immediately tasted lovely green grapes, tangy sweetness.  Another small sip and I was getting a lovely creamy lemon curd.  Truly delicious on the palate.  We were asked to guess the ABV, I stated it was about 42%.  I also thought it was so refreshing that a wine finished whisky may have been used as part of the equation.  Well, I was close on the ABV but this is a 100% grain whisky bottling. The big reveal:  HEDONISM.  I was floored!  

Only made once or twice a year, 43% ABV, non-chill filtered and natural color.  100% first fill American Oak Barrels (or rejuvenated American Oak Hogsheads).  Uses older grain whiskies from Cameron Bridge (first to produce grain whisky and is the largest grain whisky producer 30M gallons/year in Scotland), as well as whisky from Carsebridge, Cambus, Dumbarton and Port Dundas.  Hedonism was on my to try and get list for 2013.  It's not available in Canada so I wasn't holding out too much hope that I was going to get to try it.  Quite surprised!  This dram is perfect to start off a lovely evening or to end as a nice sipper.  The light and quite creamy nature of this whisky is one that I can say without a doubt is truly an original.  Well done John Glaser!  So where is this available.  Well if you are lucky enough to be in the UK or carries it for £52.75. If you are in the US -> Park Avenue Liquor Store $110.00, Binny's for $99.00 and K&L Wine Merchants $94.99.  If you want a whisky that isn't heavy or peated, this is absolutely lovely and I'm super happy and thankful to have tried it.

Whisky #2:  Such a lovely fragrant nose.  Rum raisin soaked sultanas.  So rich and creamy smelling my mouth watered.  This one has more depth and character right up front.  A bit more aggressive on the nose than #1.  Aromas of dried fruit like figs or dates.  It reminded me of light version of sticky toffee pudding.  On the palate I immediately was hit with vanilla biscuits or sweet sponge cake followed by a bit of tinned pears.  Others could smell/taste a bit of smoke but honestly I was lost in the flavors of fruit and cake.  I found it to be very full bodied and estimated the ABV to be 43-46%.  Reveal:  Great King Street, Artist's Blend.  I was a bit shocked?  I own this bottle and thought I knew it fairly well.  Bottled at 43% ABV, blend of Lowland (46%), Highland (45%) and Speyside (9%) whiskies.  Non chill filtered and natural color.  I love this whisky in a high ball with some soda water but I have on occasion been surprised by Graham and enjoyed it as a mystery dram, just like I did this time.  This is available in Canada (Ontario LCBO's) for $46.95, and again at Whisky Exchange for £23.95, Park Avenue for $40.00, Binny's and K&L for $39.99.  This is a steal and excellent value for money whisky that you should consider having in your collection.

#3 was a no-brainer for me as soon as I removed the cap from the bottle.  It screamed THE PEAT MONSTER and I stated so immediately.  Then Lilly said, ahhh but is it?  I hesitated, hmmm was it?  On the nose:  Beach fire and medicinal.  Very maritime'ish.  I stated it reminded me of two whiskies I thoroughly enjoy:  Either Talisker or Ledaig to which Lilly stated I had hit one of the components to this whisky on the head.  It's quite powerful dram on the nose.  Going back to Hedonism, it almost smelled like water!? On the palate:  Delish, full bodied peated whisky with wisps of dark fruit but the driest finish of the three samples, also the highest in alcohol I gathered (quite a burn...) So I stated that I thought it was peat monster (again) and that if it wasn't I was guessing the Entertainer and also thought the ABV was higher at 46%.  

The reveal:  PEAT MONSTER.  What satisfaction in knowing this one as it's one of my favorite Compass Box bottling or at least it's the one I have drank the most and replenished in my collection (4 bottles, so far...)  This whisky is not for the faint at heart.  Living in the far eastern part of Canada we are subjected to temperatures below -40C during our long winters.  This is warmth in a glass.  Available in Canada, Kensington Wine Market (Alberta) for $57.49, also in BC but not able to find price range there, sorry.  Whisky Exchange for £36.95.  US market:  Park Avenue Liquor $65.00, Binny's and K&L for $55.00.

My favorite for this particular tasting was the Hedonism as it surprised me the greatest and of course when I discovered what it was I more than elated to have tried it, knowing it might be awhile before I get to have it again. As we started to wind down the twitter tasting, I noticed my phone was now at 4% power and that it was going to shut down any minute.  I had time to say my goodbyes, thank everyone who attended and text Graham what I wanted for supper and it shut down.  Wow, I thought as I sat there in my car looking around (probably for the first time really), that was AWESOME!  Even though I was faced with so many little things that could have totally ruined the tasting event for me, I refused to let that happen.  I took every twisted turn and strange little bump with stride and found the humor and fun in the adventure. Which is why I love whisky to begin with.  My life, since finding this passion has been nothing but one great adventure after another filled with stories and memories to last me a lifetime.  

had the utmost pleasure of meeting John Glaser this year and I won't lie when I say I probably looked like a giddy school girl meeting Justin Bieber.  Why? Because little Canadian East Coast girls don't usually have the chance to meet the innovators of the whisky world.  On twitter, the folks from Compass Box are friendly, educative, and quick to reply or direct people to where they can get the answers they are looking for.  No other company or distillery to my knowledge has ever extended a twitter tasting to people across the Atlantic Ocean and no other entity other than Whisky Wire somehow managed to have it be for just women. Not to say that I think it should always be that way, but where this was for International Women's Day, it was truly a wonderful way to not only include us but showcase some of the great female noses/palates there are in the world.  So I extend my deepest thank you's to both Compass Box and the Whisky Wire for being the leaders and innovators they are known to be.

I will be very honest with the next part of what I have to say.  There was one small downfall to this twitter tasting for me.  Where were the men? Unlike any other twitter tasting I have ever followed there didn't seem to be men interacting from the sideline (with the exception of one, once).  With all the twitter tastings that take place you constantly see people jumping in, making comments and adding some energy.  In our case, there were the women invited to attend, Compass Box Lilly and Steve.  As fabulous is it was to be partaking in this momentous twitter tasting the men of the whisky fabric were not there partaking or cheering us on (including my own husband) and in the end I felt like something was truly missing.  I love being part of all this and it's great that women around the world said woohoo to a women's only twitter tasting.  I guess for me having Compass Box & Whisky Wire acknowledge and celebrate the fact that we love whisky just as much as the next "guy" meant alot to me.  It would have meant more knowing some of the guys in our lives thought so too and voiced it accordingly even if only to come on twitter and wish us luck, or say "way to go", anything really... 

So back to me and my car which is parked in an obscure part of Canada in the parking lot of a hotel...  Knowing full well I now have drank alcohol (three very small sips mind you) and that I have "said open alcohol" in my car I was faced with yet another little dilemma, how do I get home which is still a 45 minute drive...  So I did what any good Canadian would do, I packed up the alcohol, put it my knapsack and threw it in the trunk.  I drove out of the parking lot of the hotel and right next to the hotel in the very next drive way, pulled into here:
Even small towns have at least one of these...

Which is where I sat for the next 40 minutes drinking a hot mint tea and writing a few notes for my blog.  Had you told me at the beginning of 2013 that I would, at some point in the year, do a twitter tasting from the back seat of my car parked next to a 5 foot snowbank, I would have replied:  "Not bloody likely that would ever happen".  So it goes to show, Compass Box Whiskies are worth driving for two hours and jumping through all sorts of weird hoops to try.  Please consider trying them for yourself, you truly won't be disappointed I assure you.  

As for twitter, well most of you know how I feel about it, it's a fabulous place to discuss, share and learn about the whisky fabric.  As I drove home that Thursday night I was on my way home to a quick supper followed by an impromptu Canadian Whisky introduction to two local twitter personalities in my home town.  I went to bed that night happier than I ever recall being and it all had to do with a Lassie and her love of whiskies.

Onward and forward to the next crazy adventure.  I do hope you will join me, after all nobody does adventure quite the way I do I've come to realize and appreciate.

Whisky trail blazing!!!


Friday, March 8, 2013

PART 2 - Tribute for International Women's Day - THE LASSIES

Tomorrow's women
Unbeknownst to these two young women, I was impressed by them the first time we "met".  All virtual of course since it was on twitter.  Last summer I had asked one of the two to answer a few questions for me and that I would eventually blog about her, since she is a whisky "woman".  When I was done reading what I wrote, I deleted it.  It simply wasn't what I was trying to convey.  It bothered me for the longest time.  What was I trying to say?  What was the message I wanted people to "get".  It sat...  I waited.   Then in November, after I met Cis and Dot (Part 1) it hit me and I instantly knew what I wanted to write.  Funny enough, Alwynne contacted me about two weeks before International Women's Day and asked that I take part in her blog about it.  I gladly did, still keeping my secret about posting about her...   (Sorry Alwynne, hehe)

The other woman I am writing about today is a daughter and wife at this point in her life.  Again, as I posted in my last blog:  Did she win a nobel prize? Is she famous? Do most of you even know her?  The answer to all that is no.  She's just "some girl" who lives down the street from her dad in Bedford who is married, has a couple of dogs, likes whisky (like I do), works a full time job and also goes to university.  So why am I writing about these two women? Because unlike Cis and Dot Caron (Part 1 - Grand Dames), these two lovely young ladies are from the same generation as my daughters:  the "Yers".  These women are in their 20's to early 30's.  Labelled as tech savvy, educated, focused, family-centric, achievement/team oriented and attention craving.  Let me explain the last one especially as it's not what it seems.  They are a generation of women who look for guidance and feedback.  They like being kept in the communication loop and openly seek and benefit from having mentors.  This generation put themselves first with regards to their choices about education, marriage, beliefs, religion, etc...   AND if/when ready to have children are more likely to find a balance between home life and work.  Choosing to stay home for the first years or making arrangements through work (if either is possible) with the end result being to make their work hours more flexible.  They have a completely different vision of workplace expectations and try to prioritize family over work.  It's what my mother's generation fought for and my generation struggled to find.  So here is what I love about Alwynne and Kat's story.  It was shaped by men; more importantly their dads.  This in my opinion is where the shift in society has clearly taken place.  Men stepped in and did the most wonderful thing.  They raised their daughters. 

ALWYNNE GWILT:  Born and raised in Canada.  Her mother passed away just as she was becoming a teenager.  A difficult time enough for most young girls. Her father did not skip a beat and raised her as a single parent. When she turned 17, he gave her plane tickets to Colombia as a grad present.  Not some cash or a car but a trip to South America.  Why?  Because he instilled in his daughter that life is about taking chances and spreading your wings when you can.  He strongly encouraged taking risks and always choosing your own path to achieve your goals.  So she did.
Side by side....
Alwynne went to South America that summer.  When she came back, she didn't attend a local university in British Columbia.  She left and chose a university on the east coast (the opposite end of our very expansive country).  After she finished that, she moved to England.  After that, she started her adventure into whisky and then writing about it.  Not once did her father judge or deny her choices.  Her dad didn't keep her in his shadow or try to protect her but did just the opposite: he let her go. Would she make mistakes?  Probably, we all do.  But how else could Alwynne become a strong independent person. She is a well respected, smart, educated, friendly and knowledgeable whisky persona.  I asked her once if she thought men and women had different whisky profiles (sparked by some companies coming out with "feminine" whiskies...) and she replied:  "I think people have different profiles because every person has a different palate".  She takes the gender out of the whisky equation and as a result it's changed the way I think about it too. 

KAT PRESLEY:  Born in Thailand. At a very early age her biological father was no longer in the picture and by the time she was seven Dave Worthington stepped in.  He married her mother a few years later, they had more children and they never looked back.  Dave did not have to "be" her dad but he loved her like she was his own and raised her accordingly.  The eldest of three, she is about 10 years older then her brother and little sister.  Kat moved out before she was even 20 and has been independent and making it on her own ever since.  I don't know alot about her. She is married, has two beautiful dogs, works full time and still manages to take university classes part-time.  I had the opportunity to skype with her and Dave one afternoon and I was in awe of how comfortable and at ease she seemed not only about herself but life in general.  She and her dad share a whisky passion and blog together.  She is smart, funny, close to her mum and dad and seems driven to succeed.  Good head on her shoulders, a sense of humor and like Alwynne had a strong positive male influence in her life. 

Men who chose to take on the responsibility of raising daughters.  Keyword: CHOSE.

Adele - Before?
Adele - After?
There is a sad part of this though.  In my opinion, Alwynne and Kat don't remotely represent what advertisers want us to believe is tomorrow's woman.  We seem to still be stuck in a moulded, air brushed, anorexic looking, bubble headed plastic version of something that most size 12's don't recognize.  Anybody know who Leymah Gbowee is? How about Kate Rubins? Maybe Julia Rivard? No hunh...  Well do yourself a favor and look them up.  Those are the women of today and tomorrow! So why do our teenage daughters not know or read about them?  Because "News" channels get much better ratings announcing the 20th time Lindsay Lohan crashes her car while talking on her cellphone drinking vodka.  Women making a positive influence for others is simply not news.  Snooky getting pregnant, what dresses were worn at the Oscars and the Mobwives, now that sells and impresses.  Seriously?!

I rest my case....
I remember when Brittany Spears first came on the scene in 1998, my youngest was 8.  She sang along to her songs because she heard them on the radio and of course her older sister and her friends listened to the music too.  Both wanted me to buy her CD for them.  Then, something wonderful happened.  They saw the video "Hit me baby one more time" on Much Music (Canadian version of MTV).  The eldest who was almost 15 and a sports jock was utterly disgusted.  The youngest who was a bit of a tomboy and skateboarder sat mesmerized.  Why is she dressed like that?, she asked.  I didn't want to push my own judgments on my daughters so I turned the question around on them.  Why do you think she is dressed like that in that video?  Both sat and watched the whole video.  When it was done, the 14 year old said I don't think she dressed herself.  I think a bunch of adults who were responsible for making the video decided how she should act and dress.  The youngest listened wild eyed.  But why?  Why would they do that?  So, I explained to them both how I felt.  That sometimes people who make the decisions don't always do what is the smartest.  That if some girls watched those videos they would think that is how they are suppose to look and act.  Nothing more was ever said about Brittany Spears in our house and even when they both had money of their own, not one CD ever appeared. 

File:The Feminine Mystique.jpgI digress...  As I do sometimes (sorry... hehe).  I guess the point I am trying to make is that some women from this generation had fantastic role models, some not exactly maternal or even related to them but in the end it is what I think made the difference.  The fantastic part of being the parent for the children of this generation is watching them soar.  The hardest part:  Letting go.  Especially of our little girls.  The world can still seem like such a cruel place for women at times.  I would like to think that we have prepared the Alwynne's, Kat's, and Erica's (mine) of today.  Chances are bad things will still happen but I have a sense of pride in knowing that whatever they decide they will be ok.  That their voices will be heard when it needs to be and gender injustices will continue to melt away.  My mother's generation was angry and opened the door to change.  My generation put the laws in place and started the change.  The Y generation is by far more educated and they are in a position to create global change, but it takes time.  We have come a long way since Betty Friedman published The Feminine mystique in 1963 (50 years exactly....)  In an interview in 1982 she stated she envisioned a future where women and men raised their children together, where the duties of the family as a whole would be fair.  Where women would be in positions to create change in a peaceful manner and that their husbands would be there to support them.  She died in 2004 so I'm not sure if she thought we had achieved that or not.  What I do know is that looking at the women like my daughter, Alwynne and Kat, I have a sneaking suspicion we have. 

To all the women who came before us paving the way and for those to come I leave you with this, my favorite quote from Betty Friedman, 1963:  "Some people think I'm saying, Women of the world unite - you have nothing to lose but your men.  It's not true.  You have nothing to lose but your vacuum cleaners

Looking far ahead on the whisky trail, I remain... Grandaughter, Daughter, Mother (and maybe Grand Mother before I'm 50)...

Me & Erica now... Girl's night facials

Whisky Lassie