In Scottish paganism, Nicnevin is a transformative goddess of witchcraft/witches, necromancy, death, water, and the Queen of the Unseelie Court of the Fae in Alba, Scotland. Her most sacred day of the year is the Celtic sabbath, Samhainn(one of the many Scottish Gaels spellings), and because of this as well as her many associations across the Scottish high and lowlands, her ability to transform into an older “hag witch” or a younger, more beautiful woman, and her position as Queen of the Unseelie Court in Alba she is no Goddess to be reckoned with and alludes much mystery.
So what is a pagan/paganism and, more specifically, what is Scottish paganism and who are the Scottish Pagans? Well, the modern definition of a pagan is someone who doesn’t hold religious beliefs that adhere to the main world religions. However, in the past, it was used as a derogatory term to describe people that lived in a more rural or uncivilized way as well as those who were not Christian. Paganism is thus the practice of these people and is usually tied with the earth, polytheism, and religious practices that do not fit into the mold of society. So, with those things in mind, Scottish pagans were and are people of Celtic blood who practice hard polytheism, animism, will usually hold a belief in the three realms(Land, Sea, and Sky), honor their ancestors and be in tune with their surroundings/nature. Scottish paganism is also more geographically specific seeing as the land itself is viewed as a representation and or home for the Gods, Goddesses, Sidth. Each clan/area of Scotland also had/have their own take on the Gods as well as their own way they practice(d) their religious systems. Though, despite the differences between the different areas of the country, the overall basic mythos, ethics, and ideologies were and are the same.
Now, traditionally, Nicnevin’s sacred day of Samhainn(October 31/November 1st) is the last harvest of the Celtic cycle and a time to witness the end of summer and honor the darkening of the year. This day is also heavily stooped in supernatural antics, such as honoring the beloved dead/ancestors, the lowering of the veil that separates our world and the next, and the roaming of spirits/fae who enjoy messing with anyone they choose. Nicnevin’s part to play in all of this is that of the role of a gate opener if you will, guiding her host of Unseelie fae and spirits into our world to revel in acts of chaos.
As for her associations across Scotland, there are two main ones I shall focus on; The Cailleach from Scotland as a whole and Gyre-Carline, which is used in the lowlands. The Cailleach is a Scottish Hag Goddess who, like Nicnevin, can appear in an elderly like form or that of a younger woman and is almost unfathomable as she is one who creates, destroys, and divines. She is also associated with the darker part of the year and is said to form landscapes by dropping boulders and stones from her apron. Another connection that can be made between Nicnevin and the Cailleach is that “Nic” means daughter of and “Nevin” mirroring the tallest mountain of Scotland, Ben Nevis, which is the seat of the Cailleach. So, perhaps Nicnevin is the daughter of the Cailleach or they may be one in the same and Nicnevin being one of the many names for the Crone goddess figure across Scotland. The Cailleach herself is also a tip of the hat to the value of wisdom and the elder years of our mortal lives and how much can be appreciated of those times. On the other hand, she is also associated with the Gyre-Carline. The Gyre-Carline is an ogress whose name, like Nicnevin’s, is used to refer to witches of elderly age and in places of power thus linking her to the supernatural(Sir Walter Scott). She is also said to have a liking of good Christian men’s flesh(Dunbar) which is surely something that alludes to the fact that this Goddess is not one to be messed with.
One last thing Nicnevin presides over is the Unseelie court of the Fae in Alba. In short the Unseelie court of Fae are the darker, merciless, and more mischievous faeries and tend to be avoided, as if anyone who does not hold knowledge of the denizens of the otherworld would want to encounter any of the fae, really. In folklore the fae, as a whole, are creatures of the supernatural like that posses powers beyond our imagination and also like to medal in human affairs. One example would be in the short tale of Tam Lin when Nicnevin or the “Queen of Fairies” appears to have the main man captive and tries to keep him from the woman who eventually rescues him from her company.
Having all of these things in mind, Nicnevin is an otherworldly goddess of much mystery, beauty, wisdom, and power who spreads far and wide across the land of the Scots.
Sources: “Goddess Nicneven.” Journeying to the Goddess. N.p., 31 Oct. 2012. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. “Crone Goddess.” Crone Goddess. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. “The Goddess in the Landscape.” The Goddess in the Landscape. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. “Tregenda of the Old Goddess, Spirits, and Witches.” Tregenda of the Old Goddess, Spirits, and Witches. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. “Naming the Goddess.” Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. Nicnevin Article; Sarah Anne Lawless Caillech section; The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker Druid Thoughts: Pagan Portals Article - Loop of Brighid: Bride, the Cailleach and Nicnevin by Christopher Scott Thompson Nicnevin chapter in “Naming the Goddess” - Pamela Norrrie “Home.” Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. “Gaol Naofa | Gaelic Polytheism.” Gaol Naofa | Gaelic Polytheism. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.
((So my friend was teasing me because I was telling her how I’m so gay for @hirotsusuggestions’s mun because she’s so gorgeous and her voice is that of a Scottish Goddess and how I would very much like Caitlin to step on me…
Okay, but I haven’t seen enough on my dash recently about Rowena, played by Ruth Connell and I just cannot overstate how much I love Rowena.
Something about… Well, her everything.
The face that she does. The way she looks down at people so perfectly. (Also a sucker for the accent, I won’t lie, it kind of completes her. I think it is probably the most perfect scottish accent, oh myyy)
Look at this absolute queen. With her flaming red hair and her killer makeup and the sass that permeates every word, expression and movement
How she just gives no fucks and how Crowley just takes it because she’s his mother and oh my god, Rowena calm down, yer givin’ me a heart attack here with your sassy perfection
I mean, c’mon. Can there be more Rowena love? Maybe I just haven’t been on the right side of tumblr to see it. If so, please let me know, because this scottish goddess deserves so much love. Rowena is just w o w
Not to mention her perfect proclivity for manipulation. You have to admire how clever she is. I mean. c’mon.
Please, just a round of applause for the actual perfect character. Rowena, you delightful, manipulative, fun, awesome, amazing, classy, sASSY Scottish Goddess. Also lots and lots of love to…
Ruth ‘Ruthie’ Connell! The portrayal of this perfect character brought to you by her! I’ve seen a well-written character portrayed badly and thus be ruined. But nooooot in this case. Thank you, Ms. Connell, for helping to bring to life one of my favourite characters to date. Here’s to hoping you stick around, because please.
This is a good article I found a while back concerning Halloween:
When we became followers of Jesus Christ there were many practices we put behind us; lying, immorality, drunkenness, brawling, etc. We accepted the clear teaching of Holy Scripture that a believer should not make such habits a practice in his life. Many, however, feel that the bible is not so clear in condemning the believer’s participation in the celebration of Halloween. They would say that it is a “gray area” where each man must be convinced in his own mind. Is this true? Let us examine, from a biblical and historical perspective, what the bible has to say about the revelry of October 31st.
Reference materials are in general agreement about the origins of the practices of Halloween:
Now a children’s holiday, Halloween was originally a Celtic festival for the dead, celebrated on the last day of the Celtic year, Oct. 31. Elements of that festival were incorporated into the Christian holiday of All Hallows’ Eve, the night preceding All Saints’ (Hallows’) Day.
Customs and superstitions gathered through the ages go into the celebration of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, on October 31, the Christian festival of All Saints. It has its origins, however, in the autumn festivals of earlier times.
The ancient Druids had a three-day celebration at the beginning of November. They believed that on the last night of October spirits of the dead roamed abroad, and they lighted bonfires to drive them away. In ancient Rome the festival of Pomona, goddess of fruits and gardens, occurred at about this time of year. It was an occasion of rejoicing associated with the harvest; and nuts and apples, as symbols of the winter store of fruit, were roasted before huge bonfires. But these agricultural and pastoral celebrations also had a sinister aspect, with ghosts and witches thought to be on the prowl.
Even after November 1 became a Christian feast day honoring all saints, many people clung to the old pagan beliefs and customs that had grown up about Halloween. Some tried to foretell the future on that night by performing such rites as jumping over lighted candles. In the British Isles great bonfires blazed for the Celtic festival of Samhain. Laughing bands of guisers (young people disguised in grotesque masks) carved lanterns from turnips and carried them through the villages.
In ancient Britain and Ireland, October 31 was celebrated as the end of summer. In later centuries it was the opening of the new year and was the occasion for setting huge bonfires on hilltops to drive away evil spirits. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on that day, and the annual fall festival acquired sinister connotations, with evil spirits, ghosts, witches, goblins, black cats, and demons wandering about.
Halloween, name applied to the evening of October 31st, preceding the Christian feast of Hallowmas, Allhallows, or All Saints’ Day. The observances connected with Halloween are thought to have originated among the ancient Druids, who believed that on that evening, Saman, the lord of the dead, called forth hosts of evil spirits. The Druids customarily lit great fires on Halloween, apparently for the purpose of warding off all these spirits. Among the ancient Celts, Halloween was the last evening of the year and was regarded as a propitious time for examining the portents of the future. The Celts also believed that the spirits of the dead revisited their earthly homes on that evening. After the Romans conquered Britain, they added to Halloween features of the Roman harvest festival held on November 1 in honor of Pomona, goddess of the fruits of trees.
The Celtic tradition of lighting fires on Halloween survived until modern times in Scotland and Wales, and the concept of ghosts and witches is still common to all Halloween observances. Traces of the Roman harvest festival survive in the custom, prevalent in both the United States and Great Britain, of playing games involving fruit, such as ducking for apples in a tub of water. Of similar origin is the use of hollowed-out pumpkins, carved to resemble grotesque faces and lit by candles placed inside.
So, according to secular sources, the traditions of Halloween are based upon the worship of false gods, contact with the dead, foretelling the future, and communing with evil spirits. Does the bible have anything to say about these practices?
The worship of false gods is condemned numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments and is emphasized so strongly that it is the very first of the commandments given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
In Exodus 20:2-3 the Lord writes with His own hand: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
In Deuteronomy 11:16 He warns the Israelites: “Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.”
The Psalmist warns in Psalm 81:9: “You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god.”
John even closes the “Love Letter” of 1 John with the admonition to “…keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).
The passage in the bible that most directly addresses the customs mentioned above is Deuteronomy 18:9-14, where we read: “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”
In Amos 5:14 The Lord tells Israel, “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.” He goes on in the next verse to say, “Hate evil, love good.” Even though one may be making a profession of faith, Amos is clearly saying that the Lord Almighty is not with those who are actually seeking evil, instead of good. Peter reminds us of this when he says “…the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).
At this point some may say, “But all of that was ages ago. None of that significance remains. It is now a harmless kids holiday, isn’t it?” Let’s see just what significance, if any, there is in the modern holiday of Halloween.
Rowan Moonstone (a pseudonym), a self-described witch, has written a pamphlet entitled “The Origins of Halloween,” in which he seeks to defend Halloween from the “erroneous information” contained in “woefully inaccurate and poorly researched” Christian tracts on the subject. Following are excerpts from the question and answer style article.
Where does Halloween come from?
Our modern celebration of Halloween is a descendent of the ancient Celtic fire festival called “Samhain”. The word is pronounced “sow-in,” with “sow” rhyming with cow.
What does “Samhain” mean?
The Irish English dictionary published by the Irish Texts Society defines the word as follows: “Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered. Faeries were imagined as particularly active at this season. From it the half year is reckoned. also called Feile Moingfinne (Snow Goddess). The Scottish Gaelis Dictionary defines it as “Hallowtide. The Feast of All Soula. Sam + Fuin = end of summer.” Contrary to the information published by many organizations, there is no archaeological or literary evidence to indicate that Samhain was a deity. The Celtic Gods of the dead were Gwynn ap Nudd for the British, and Arawn for the Welsh. The Irish did not have a “lord of death” as such.
Okay, it is possible that the name of the god and the name of the celebration got mixed up in someone’s research. Note that he still admits it was a “feast of the dead.” He then describes its significance:
What does it have to do with a festival of the dead?
The Celts believed that when people died, they went to a land of eternal youth and happiness called Tir nan Og. They did not have the concept of heaven and hell that the Christian church later brought into the land. The dead were sometimes believed to be dwelling with the Fairy Folk, who lived in the numerous mounds or sidhe (pron. “shee”) that dotted the Irish and Scottish countryside. Samhain was the new year to the Celts. In the Celtic belief system, turning points, such as the time between one day and the next, the meeting of sea and shore, or the turning of one year into the next were seen as magickal times. The turning of the year was the most potent of these times. This was the time when the “veil between the worlds” was at its thinnest, and the living could communicate with their beloved dead in Tir nan Og.
What other practices were associated with this season?
Folk tradition tells us of many divination practices associated with Samhain. Among the most common were divinations dealing with marriage, weather, and the coming fortunes for the year. These were performed via such methods as ducking for apples, and apple peeling. Ducking for apples was a marriage divination. The first person to bite an apple would be the first to marry in the coming year. Apple peeling was a divination to see how long your life would be. The longer the unbroken apple peel, the longer your life was destined to be. In Scotland, people would place stones in the ashes of the hearth before retiring for the night. Anyone whose stone had been disturbed during the night was said to be destined to die during the coming year.
So from the pen of a defender of the holiday we find that pretty much all that has been said about the holiday by the encyclopedia’s cited earlier, with the possible exception of the faulty association of god status on the name Samhain, is true. Toward the end of the article Mr. Moonstone makes what seems to be, for our purposes, the most telling statement of all:
Does anyone today celebrate Samhain as a religious observance?
Yes. Many followers of various pagan religions, such as Druids and Wiccans, observe this day as a religious festival. They view it as a memorial day for their dead friends, similar to the national holiday of Memorial Day in May. It is still a night to practice various forms of divination concerning future events. Also, it is considered a time to wrap up old projects, take stock of ones life, and initiate new projects for the coming year. As the winter season is approaching, it is a good time to do studying on research projects and also a good time to begin hand work such as sewing, leather working, woodworking, etc. for Yule gifts later in the year.
So, according to a witch, for Druids and Wiccans the day still holds religious significance. It is a festival during which “various forms of divination” are practiced. This position is supported in the following article. A witch is giving tips to other homeschooling witches at a website entitled “Halloween: October Festival of the Dead”.
Origins: All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween or Samhain once marked the end of grazing, when herds were collected and separated for slaughter. For farmers, it is the time at which anything not made use of in the garden loses its’ life essence, and is allowed to rot. Halloween is the original new year, when the Wheel of the Year finishes: debts are paid, scores settled, funereal rites observed and the dead put to rest before the coming winter. On this night, the veil between our world and the spirit world is negligible, and the dead may return to walk amongst us. Halloween is the night to ensure that they have been honored, fed and satisfied–and is the best time of the year for gaining otherworldly insight through divination and psychic forecasting. Recognition of the unseen world and the ordinary person’s access to it, as well as the acceptance of death as a natural and illusory part of life is central to the sacred nature of this holiday.
Note her use of the present tense to describe the various aspects of Halloween. Of special interest is the term “sacred nature of this holiday.” Further down the webpage, in an article entitled “Elemental Homeschooling,” she gives the following suggestions for how to enlighten your children on (and about) Halloween:
As much fun as it is for children to get great bags of sweets at Halloween, the origins of this time of year are sacred and meaningful. It is the time when nature appears to die, so it becomes natural to consider those who have passed away to the spirit world. Bring out pictures of your ancestors and re-tell the old family stories to those who haven’t heard them yet. Remind yourself where you come from. Water is the element of Autumn, and the fluidity of emotion is most apparent in the Fall. We retreat within, burrow down into our homes in order to stay warm for the coming winter. We look within, and easily seek inner communication. Halloween is the perfect time to link the deepening of emotion with finding new ways to search for interior wisdom. Likewise, this is a fun and exciting holiday: theatrics, costuming, and acting out new personas express our ability to change. Here are some ideas for integrating this holy day with homeschooling lessons.
Methods of inner communication with divination tools: tarot, palmistry, astrology, dream journaling … ? archetypes: fairy tales, storytelling the Dark Ages, the medieval era, issues about superstition and eternal truths, skeletons: the skeletal system, organs, anatomy …issues about death, persecution (using the Burning Times as a beginning point for older children), mysteries, the spirit world night: nocturnal animals, bodies of water: rivers, lakes, ocean, ponds …
Once again she uses the present tense and describes Halloween as a “Holy Day.” She also advocates many of the activities specifically condemned by Deuteronomy 18:9-12. Obviously, there is a lot more to Halloween than some costumed kids gathering a stomach ache worth of candy. It is clearly a festival of the Kingdom of Darkness.
The scripture has a lot to say about participating in such activities:
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you’” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 says to “avoid every kind of evil.”
Jesus said it best in John 3:19-21: “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
Finally, Paul gives us an idea for a costume to be worn on Halloween (or any) night in Romans 13:12: “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
There will certainly be people who will still rationalize ways to participate, at some level, in the festivities of Halloween. To this the Lord replies in Proverbs 3:7 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil,” and Proverbs 8:13 “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Will we seek to push the boundaries of our faith to see just how far we can go? Or will we seek to serve the Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength? “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
The Lord equates Spiritual maturity with the ability to discern good and evil. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they should “stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults” (1 Corinthians 14:20). The author of Hebrews makes it even more clear when he says “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
For those who would still insist that they can participate in such activities with a clear conscience, there is another aspect to think about: the example you are to those around you.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God– even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:31-33).
It is curious to note that in the same breath that Paul says “Love must be sincere” he says “Hate what is evil; Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). If we have sincere love for our brethren we will do all that we can to set a good example and not be a stumbling block to them.
Romans 14-16:23: “Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”
1 Corinthians 8:7-13: “However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.
But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
The weak or new brother who sees or hears of one of us participating in Halloween may be led or feel pressured to participate himself, even though he does not have a clean conscience about the activity. For him then the activity is clearly sin, because it does not come from faith. This brother would have been pushed toward this sinful state by your indulgence.
Consider another aspect of this; who among us is weaker than our children? Can we take the risk of them seeing us participating, however marginally, in an activity rife with occultism? Jesus had harsh words for those who would cause such little ones to stumble! (Matthew 18:6) We work so hard at protecting them from the evil world around them, will we then be guilty of corrupting them for the sake of a celebration of that very evil? “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
The best thing we can do for our relationship with Jesus is devote ourselves entirely to Him.
“…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with endurance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a).
How fixed on Jesus can our eyes be if we are spending a night, or even an evening, thinking on darkness? So let’s press on to know the Lord!
Simply put, that holiday and its symbols originated not in the Bible but with people deceived by the devil to worship FALSE (pagan) gods. No true believer in God should be involved in Halloween, with its celebration of pain, suffering, evil, and death - not to mention its worship (at times cleverly disguised) of God’s adversary. Of course, if there is no God, it does not make any difference. However, God EXISTS, and He clearly forbids indulging in evil practices! For all its trappings and ‘fun’ Halloween is condemned by God and should be avoided by Christians.
Many churches lately have a “Hallow Him” celebration during that day, which seeks to praise God with their community and for anyone who wants a safe alternative to that demonic Halloween celebration. Christians shouldn’t hide at Halloween, we should use it as a time to minister to unbelievers in our community. Give them a free place to come as a safe alternative to Halloween. A place to eat, listen to gospel music, be in the company of loving and caring people, and most of all a place to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I’m a big fan of Ardbeg. The distillery is on Islay, the South coast to be precise and produces the characteristically peaty whisky that one would expect. Ardbeg is owned by LVMH, which is obviously known for its champagnes more than its excellent whisky portfolio, but it is also known for its excellent gift sets. It was in one of these gift sets that I purchased the standard 10 year Ardbeg, which is very good if you like extremely smoky Scotch, along with two higher end expressions from the distillery being Corryvreckan and Uigeadail (pronounced Oog-a-dal). It is names like these that convince me that sometimes the Scots are just trying to make up names that are impossible to pronounce. Tonight I’m going to try out the Corryvreckan because I’ve had a few already and it’s easier to type.
Corryvreckan is named after the third strongest maelstrom in the world, in case you’re an uneducated idiot and didn’t know that and is obviously located in the gulf of the same name. In Scottish mythology, the hag goddess of winter, Cailleach Bheur, uses the gulf to wash her great plaid. I didn’t make that up.
It doesn’t have an age statement on it. The age statement in Scotch is not required, but if it is provided must be the youngest whisky in the bottle. It’s becoming more common for companies to sell pricier no age statement whiskies now, some of which are quite good. Also, younger whiskies are also being sold at higher prices on occasion. For example, some versions of Octomore are aged 5 years and still fetch prices close to $200 a bottle. Even when there is no age statement, all the whiskies in the bottle are required to be at least three years old. Ardbeg was mothballed in 1982, but was revived by Glenmorangie in 1997, so they may not have a lot of old stock to work with.
This is bottled at 57.1% ABV, so you’re getting a lot of extra bang for your buck. You’re going to want to add some water to this one because without it, there’s just smoke and burning. With some water, it really opens up, tastes citrusy, like a pineapple that someone lit on fire, with brown sugar. It’s really complex and hard to put my finger on the individual flavors that make it so good, but seems sweeter and heavier than the 10 year old Ardbeg.
On second thought, I know exactly what it tastes like: