Shit Whisky in the North

I had been living in Reykjavík for three months, which means I knew pretty much all the bartenders by first name.

So it came to a surprise when they told me about a local liquor I had never tried before…

Click play to WATCH

“Yes. Brennivín. Everyone here has drunk Brennivín,” says Birna, the blond, brassy bartender at Bastard sounding both like a gift and an insult in that typically Icelandic way.

The very next day I found myself pedalling south on a bike along the sea to Garðabær (no idea, before you ask) to see if I could wrap my lips around this mythical elixir that was, if nothing else, purely Icelandic.

Eimverk Distillery sits quietly beyond a round-a-bout, and a low-key facade from the outside, giving away no hint that you’re outside one of the northernmost distilleries in the world. It’s only when you move inside that you start to feel its magical power from the ancient Viking symbols which grace the walls and which are burnt deep into locally made barrels. As an alcohol anthropologist this was like discovering a newly contacted civilization.

Click play to WATCH

Brennivín is considered Icelandic’s signature distilled beverage. The original bottle (produced by the Government) displayed a white skull on a black label warning against consumption, and was sometimes referred to as ‘svarti dauði’ (black death). This rather grim marketing was designed to be visually unappealing, therefore limiting demand. It didn’t work. For decades, Brennivín became the drink of choice for Icelanders, and a must-try for travellers.

“We make wonderful gin and aquavit here, but I think we are most remembered for our whisky, Flóki. Well, remembered if you don’t drink too much of it,” says Erik with a straight face as he lined up several drams of various handcrafted delights. Eimverk Distillery, like most of Iceland, takes extreme pride in their craft, and sources pretty much everything locally. This includes their winter barley, which grows during an extremely short summer season — making this some of the rarest small batch whisky in the world.

“Most Icelandic people have a still in their house. We have just taken what we all do at home, and do it on a larger scale. Did you ever think you would drink shit and like it?”

I was on either my fifth or fifteenth tasting dram, and thought I perhaps misheard my host, but no, he was asking me if I enjoyed the taste of faeces.

“You see we have no peat on Iceland. So in order to flavour our whisky we use sheep dung… it’s traditional. ”

Again, straight face. What has already been tasted cannot be untasted, but fortunately this century-old technique actually yields a surprisingly smooth, floral and even a little earthy whiskey, that is nothing else is unlike anything I’ve tasted before.

“We named the whisky after the Viking that discovered Iceland in 868. He was named Hrafna-Flóki because three ravens were said to lead him to Iceland.” (NOTE: Hrafna-Flóki Google translated to ‘Raven Complex’. We think something has been lost here, but it makes the raven stuff make sense).

Like Flóki I have been led somewhere; to a new favourite whisky, a millennia later, and I don’t think I will be the last person to discover this amazing distillery any time soon.

Try Flóki at Eimverk Distillery by heading to Lyngás 13, 210 Garðabær, Iceland. Check their website book a tour, and try their shit.

 

Fall in love with Winderdome Resort

Excuse us if we sound dramatic, but we’re pretty sure we’ve found the best dome accommodation in British Columbia. Winderdome Resort came from turning lemons into lemonade as owners Deb and David explain. Having always wanted to show off the land and valley they love, they kicked into gear as most things were shut down during the pandemic. “It was our dream to create a place and an experience where people could come to rest, relax, and maybe even celebrate life’s special moments.”. Deb did her best at creating blueprints, David deciphered them like they were the Da Vinci Code – and with the help of many people around them they were able to open Winderdome Resort in 2022.

Canada, especially the west coast, is known for enjoying the outdoors. British Columbia is home to some of the best mountains and lakes, providing great opportunities to ski, hike, boat, fish, surf, paddle, kayak… look, if it’s an outdoor activity – you can do it in BC. The location of Winderdome Resort in Windermere provides you with a breathtaking location to relax while having you perfectly positioned to enjoy the attractions you around you. Like Swansea Mountain which has a plethora of hiking options, Windermere Lake, Radium Hot Springs in the north and Fairmont Hot Springs in the south – both just a 15-minute drive in each direction. And if you’re after 100% natural hot springs, you’ll find them at Lussier hot springs which is less than an hour south. With four hot spring pools to choose from, all with varying temperatures, it is the ideal location to sit back and take in the views of the river and mountains around you.

In winter you can take a 5-minute trip to Lake Windermere and skate across the world’s longest skating path – The Whiteway. A 34km groomed track that runs around the lake and connects the towns of Invermere and Windermere, making it a great way to explore in winter. After you’ve discovered muscles you haven’t felt or known about going across Whiteway, you can retreat to Winderdome Resort to rest and warm up. Even in the depths of winter, Deb and David make sure they crank the heating to ensure you’re nice and toasty. With three domes to choose from you can find the one that best suits your personality and taste.

Wolf Dome is decked out in rich greens that it will have you feeling like you’re in Emerald City. With red draped all around, Bear Dome is perfect for Taylor Swift and fans alike. Cougar Dome, which we thought would have the cougar uniform of leopard print is in fact filled with beautiful blues and navy.

Each dome sleeps up to 4 people with 1 king bed and 2 twin beds in the loft plus they’re fitted out with a kitchenette and bathroom, so you don’t need to worry about hiking across the sight to go to the loo. You can also chill out in the communal BBQ and pools areas that have plenty of shade on offer as well. Never underestimate that BC sun.

With prices starting from $250 a night, it almost feels like Winderdome Resort are paying you to stay there. Talk about value for money.

WHY OUTSIDE IS SEATTLE & WASHINGTON’S BEST SIDE

 

10. HAVE ZERO QUALMS at Snoqualmie Falls

It is borderline ridiculous that a place like Snoqualmie Falls can exist within a half-hour’s drive from downtown Seattle. From the city’s famous Space Needle, take the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and drive east for hardly any time at all before reaching the exquisite 82-metre waterfall, which the local Snoqualmie people have designated as the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer.

This is one of the best city day trips you’ll ever find and it’s not the only one you can do in Seattle—Bainbridge Island and Leavenworth are a couple of other epic adventures you can squeeze into a day from Seattle. 

 

 

9. SHRED GNAR at Methow Trails

Methow Trails in the North Cascade Mountains is North America’s largest cross-country ski area, with over 200km of perfectly groomed, skiable terrain. Within this 200km, there are long-distance town-to-town and lodge-to-lodge ski options and heart-pumping climbs and descents that will challenge the most seasoned mountain men and women. 

All this space is good news—more room for you, more area to explore, more extraordinary landscapes to drink in. It also means you’ve got A LOT of skiing ahead of you.

 

10. HAVE ZERO QUALMS at Snoqualmie Falls

It is borderline ridiculous that a place like Snoqualmie Falls can exist within a half-hour’s drive from downtown Seattle. From the city’s famous Space Needle, take the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and drive east for hardly any time at all before reaching the exquisite 82-metre waterfall, which the local Snoqualmie people have designated as the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer.

This is one of the best city day trips you’ll ever find and it’s not the only one you can do in Seattle—Bainbridge Island and Leavenworth are a couple of other epic adventures you can squeeze into a day from Seattle. 

 

 

8. KICK BACK at a Mariners game

The SoDo district of Seattle plays host to a number of pro sports teams. The Seattle Mariners are one of those, playing their home games at T-Mobile Park, a modern stadium with a retractable roof that also stages the occasional concert. 

Get a hot dog and a beer, and sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game while taking in ‘America’s pastime’. 

 

9. SHRED GNAR at Methow Trails

Methow Trails in the North Cascade Mountains is North America’s largest cross-country ski area, with over 200km of perfectly groomed, skiable terrain. Within this 200km, there are long-distance town-to-town and lodge-to-lodge ski options and heart-pumping climbs and descents that will challenge the most seasoned mountain men and women. 

All this space is good news—more room for you, more area to explore, more extraordinary landscapes to drink in. It also means you’ve got A LOT of skiing ahead of you.

 

10. HAVE ZERO QUALMS at Snoqualmie Falls

It is borderline ridiculous that a place like Snoqualmie Falls can exist within a half-hour’s drive from downtown Seattle. From the city’s famous Space Needle, take the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and drive east for hardly any time at all before reaching the exquisite 82-metre waterfall, which the local Snoqualmie people have designated as the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer.

This is one of the best city day trips you’ll ever find and it’s not the only one you can do in Seattle—Bainbridge Island and Leavenworth are a couple of other epic adventures you can squeeze into a day from Seattle. 

 

 

7. DROP A LINE* at the Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel in downtown Seattle is where the epic meets historic. It’s described as waterfront, and that’s putting it mildly—the Edgewater is so waterfront The Beatles fished out of their hotel room window when they stayed here. The lobby and restaurants are something to behold, situated right on the water, and with a blazing fire and epic bar to keep you warm in Seattle’s fresh winters. 

*We’re not sure if you’re allowed to fish out of your window—it’s probably more of a Beatles thing. If you’re reading, Paul or Ringo, go right ahead lads. 

 

8. KICK BACK at a Mariners game

The SoDo district of Seattle plays host to a number of pro sports teams. The Seattle Mariners are one of those, playing their home games at T-Mobile Park, a modern stadium with a retractable roof that also stages the occasional concert. 

Get a hot dog and a beer, and sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game while taking in ‘America’s pastime’. 

 

9. SHRED GNAR at Methow Trails

Methow Trails in the North Cascade Mountains is North America’s largest cross-country ski area, with over 200km of perfectly groomed, skiable terrain. Within this 200km, there are long-distance town-to-town and lodge-to-lodge ski options and heart-pumping climbs and descents that will challenge the most seasoned mountain men and women. 

All this space is good news—more room for you, more area to explore, more extraordinary landscapes to drink in. It also means you’ve got A LOT of skiing ahead of you.

 

10. HAVE ZERO QUALMS at Snoqualmie Falls

It is borderline ridiculous that a place like Snoqualmie Falls can exist within a half-hour’s drive from downtown Seattle. From the city’s famous Space Needle, take the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and drive east for hardly any time at all before reaching the exquisite 82-metre waterfall, which the local Snoqualmie people have designated as the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer.

This is one of the best city day trips you’ll ever find and it’s not the only one you can do in Seattle—Bainbridge Island and Leavenworth are a couple of other epic adventures you can squeeze into a day from Seattle. 

 

 

6. GET TUBED in the surf at Westport

This is the West Coast, after all. 

While further south grabs all the attention, Westport, Washington, has quietly made a name for itself as a place to get pitted, with spots suiting both the kooks and the Kellys. Westport has three main spots: The Jetty, a consistent beach break, The Groins—a left-handed point break subject to monster tides; and The Cove, a feared shore break that bears the full brunt of the roaring North Pacific Ocean. All three are easily accessed. 

If you’re not a surfer, no matter; Washington State is full of epic beaches for all kinds of beachgoers—click here for more info.

 

7. DROP A LINE* at the Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel in downtown Seattle is where the epic meets historic. It’s described as waterfront, and that’s putting it mildly—the Edgewater is so waterfront The Beatles fished out of their hotel room window when they stayed here. The lobby and restaurants are something to behold, situated right on the water, and with a blazing fire and epic bar to keep you warm in Seattle’s fresh winters. 

*We’re not sure if you’re allowed to fish out of your window—it’s probably more of a Beatles thing. If you’re reading, Paul or Ringo, go right ahead lads. 

 

8. KICK BACK at a Mariners game

The SoDo district of Seattle plays host to a number of pro sports teams. The Seattle Mariners are one of those, playing their home games at T-Mobile Park, a modern stadium with a retractable roof that also stages the occasional concert. 

Get a hot dog and a beer, and sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game while taking in ‘America’s pastime’. 

 

9. SHRED GNAR at Methow Trails

Methow Trails in the North Cascade Mountains is North America’s largest cross-country ski area, with over 200km of perfectly groomed, skiable terrain. Within this 200km, there are long-distance town-to-town and lodge-to-lodge ski options and heart-pumping climbs and descents that will challenge the most seasoned mountain men and women. 

All this space is good news—more room for you, more area to explore, more extraordinary landscapes to drink in. It also means you’ve got A LOT of skiing ahead of you.

 

10. HAVE ZERO QUALMS at Snoqualmie Falls

It is borderline ridiculous that a place like Snoqualmie Falls can exist within a half-hour’s drive from downtown Seattle. From the city’s famous Space Needle, take the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and drive east for hardly any time at all before reaching the exquisite 82-metre waterfall, which the local Snoqualmie people have designated as the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer.

This is one of the best city day trips you’ll ever find and it’s not the only one you can do in Seattle—Bainbridge Island and Leavenworth are a couple of other epic adventures you can squeeze into a day from Seattle. 

 

 

5. GET FISHY at Pike Place Market

The large, red, neon-lit sign that adorns the entrance to the 117-year-old Pike Place Market is gorgeous, and it might just stop the Instagram crowd in their tracks. While they’re taking selfies, venture deeper into the market to find more time-honoured Seattle things—like fish throwing.  Fishmongers and fishermen yelling, chanting, shovelling ice and hurling fish at customers and each other. It’s genuine chaos, and we love it.  

The market is full of fresh food and classic Seattle dishes—like fresh oysters at Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar

 

6. GET TUBED in the surf at Westport

This is the West Coast, after all. 

While further south grabs all the attention, Westport, Washington, has quietly made a name for itself as a place to get pitted, with spots suiting both the kooks and the Kellys. Westport has three main spots: The Jetty, a consistent beach break, The Groins—a left-handed point break subject to monster tides; and The Cove, a feared shore break that bears the full brunt of the roaring North Pacific Ocean. All three are easily accessed. 

If you’re not a surfer, no matter; Washington State is full of epic beaches for all kinds of beachgoers—click here for more info.

 

7. DROP A LINE* at the Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel in downtown Seattle is where the epic meets historic. It’s described as waterfront, and that’s putting it mildly—the Edgewater is so waterfront The Beatles fished out of their hotel room window when they stayed here. The lobby and restaurants are something to behold, situated right on the water, and with a blazing fire and epic bar to keep you warm in Seattle’s fresh winters. 

*We’re not sure if you’re allowed to fish out of your window—it’s probably more of a Beatles thing. If you’re reading, Paul or Ringo, go right ahead lads. 

 

8. KICK BACK at a Mariners game

The SoDo district of Seattle plays host to a number of pro sports teams. The Seattle Mariners are one of those, playing their home games at T-Mobile Park, a modern stadium with a retractable roof that also stages the occasional concert. 

Get a hot dog and a beer, and sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game while taking in ‘America’s pastime’. 

 

9. SHRED GNAR at Methow Trails

Methow Trails in the North Cascade Mountains is North America’s largest cross-country ski area, with over 200km of perfectly groomed, skiable terrain. Within this 200km, there are long-distance town-to-town and lodge-to-lodge ski options and heart-pumping climbs and descents that will challenge the most seasoned mountain men and women. 

All this space is good news—more room for you, more area to explore, more extraordinary landscapes to drink in. It also means you’ve got A LOT of skiing ahead of you.

 

10. HAVE ZERO QUALMS at Snoqualmie Falls

It is borderline ridiculous that a place like Snoqualmie Falls can exist within a half-hour’s drive from downtown Seattle. From the city’s famous Space Needle, take the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and drive east for hardly any time at all before reaching the exquisite 82-metre waterfall, which the local Snoqualmie people have designated as the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer.

This is one of the best city day trips you’ll ever find and it’s not the only one you can do in Seattle—Bainbridge Island and Leavenworth are a couple of other epic adventures you can squeeze into a day from Seattle. 

 

 

4. CRACK OPEN A FROTHY in a beautiful brew garden

The Seattle Times recently ran a piece that showed that Washington is among the country’s most discerning states when it comes to beer (beer snobs, in their own words). As well as epic craft beer, the breweries and pubs around the state share a key element of Australian beer drinking: the beer garden.

The Fremont Brewing Urban Beer Garden is one of Seattle’s best spots for an ale, with an epic beer list. About a half hour away is South Fork North Bend, who serve pints in a beautiful beer garden that taste even better after bike ride through some gnarly trails nearby. 

 

5. GET FISHY at Pike Place Market

The large, red, neon-lit sign that adorns the entrance to the 117-year-old Pike Place Market is gorgeous, and it might just stop the Instagram crowd in their tracks. While they’re taking selfies, venture deeper into the market to find more time-honoured Seattle things—like fish throwing.  Fishmongers and fishermen yelling, chanting, shovelling ice and hurling fish at customers and each other. It’s genuine chaos, and we love it.  

The market is full of fresh food and classic Seattle dishes—like fresh oysters at Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar

 

6. GET TUBED in the surf at Westport

This is the West Coast, after all. 

While further south grabs all the attention, Westport, Washington, has quietly made a name for itself as a place to get pitted, with spots suiting both the kooks and the Kellys. Westport has three main spots: The Jetty, a consistent beach break, The Groins—a left-handed point break subject to monster tides; and The Cove, a feared shore break that bears the full brunt of the roaring North Pacific Ocean. All three are easily accessed. 

If you’re not a surfer, no matter; Washington State is full of epic beaches for all kinds of beachgoers—click here for more info.

 

7. DROP A LINE* at the Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel in downtown Seattle is where the epic meets historic. It’s described as waterfront, and that’s putting it mildly—the Edgewater is so waterfront The Beatles fished out of their hotel room window when they stayed here. The lobby and restaurants are something to behold, situated right on the water, and with a blazing fire and epic bar to keep you warm in Seattle’s fresh winters. 

*We’re not sure if you’re allowed to fish out of your window—it’s probably more of a Beatles thing. If you’re reading, Paul or Ringo, go right ahead lads. 

 

8. KICK BACK at a Mariners game

The SoDo district of Seattle plays host to a number of pro sports teams. The Seattle Mariners are one of those, playing their home games at T-Mobile Park, a modern stadium with a retractable roof that also stages the occasional concert. 

Get a hot dog and a beer, and sing Take Me Out to the Ball Game while taking in ‘America’s pastime’. 

 

9. SHRED GNAR at Methow Trails

Methow Trails in the North Cascade Mountains is North America’s largest cross-country ski area, with over 200km of perfectly groomed, skiable terrain. Within this 200km, there are long-distance town-to-town and lodge-to-lodge ski options and heart-pumping climbs and descents that will challenge the most seasoned mountain men and women. 

All this space is good news—more room for you, more area to explore, more extraordinary landscapes to drink in. It also means you’ve got A LOT of skiing ahead of you.

 

10. HAVE ZERO QUALMS at Snoqualmie Falls

It is borderline ridiculous that a place like Snoqualmie Falls can exist within a half-hour’s drive from downtown Seattle. From the city’s famous Space Needle, take the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and drive east for hardly any time at all before reaching the exquisite 82-metre waterfall, which the local Snoqualmie people have designated as the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer.

This is one of the best city day trips you’ll ever find and it’s not the only one you can do in Seattle—Bainbridge Island and Leavenworth are a couple of other epic adventures you can squeeze into a day from Seattle. 

 

 

3. EASILY HIKE the Easy Pass

Never has there been a less accurate name than the ‘Easy Pass’. This breathtaking, brute of a trail winds through mountains, greenery and rocky sections. It packs in heavy timber, meadows, and avalanche chutes and takes trekkers as high as 1,981 metres, which is a really long way up.

This is tricky trekking, a proper calf-burner, but the 11.2km are doable in a day. Go in March or autumn, and the larch trees will turn captivatingly golden-yellow for you.

 

4. CRACK OPEN A FROTHY in a beautiful brew garden

The Seattle Times recently ran a piece that showed that Washington is among the country’s most discerning states when it comes to beer (beer snobs, in their own words). As well as epic craft beer, the breweries and pubs around the state share a key element of Australian beer drinking: the beer garden.

The Fremont Brewing Urban Beer Garden is one of Seattle’s best spots for an ale, with an epic beer list. About a half hour away is South Fork North Bend, who serve pints in a beautiful beer garden that taste even better after bike ride through some gnarly trails nearby. 

 

5. GET FISHY at Pike Place Market

The large, red, neon-lit sign that adorns the entrance to the 117-year-old Pike Place Market is gorgeous, and it might just stop the Instagram crowd in their tracks. While they’re taking selfies, venture deeper into the market to find more time-honoured Seattle things—like fish throwing.  Fishmongers and fishermen yelling, chanting, shovelling ice and hurling fish at customers and each other. It’s genuine chaos, and we love it.  

The market is full of fresh food and classic Seattle dishes—like fresh oysters at Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar

 

6. GET TUBED in the surf at Westport

This is the West Coast, after all. 

While further south grabs all the attention, Westport, Washington, has quietly made a name for itself as a place to get pitted, with spots suiting both the kooks and the Kellys. Westport has three main spots: The Jetty, a consistent beach break, The Groins—a left-handed point break subject to monster tides; and The Cove, a feared shore break that bears the full brunt of the roaring North Pacific Ocean. All three are easily accessed. 

If you’re not a surfer, no matter; Washington State is full of epic beaches for all kinds of beachgoers—click here for more info.