25th August was the 28th time of Night of Arts in Helsinki. Each year there are plenty of cultural happenings in the city organised by shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants, etc. Dancing, singing, musical performance, art exhibitions, magic performances or whatever you can think of relating culture can be found. At this day starting from 4pm onwards, the city is getting more lively than other days. You can easily find families with kids hanging around the city even after 6 or 7pm to join the happenings. (Finnish kids generally sleep pretty early and they rarely go out in the evening)
This was my first time to be in Helsinki at this day as I moved to this city only four months ago. I had been in Turku and Tampere at the same happening (each city has its own day of Night of Arts) but nothing can be compared with the scale and atmosphere in Helsinki- the cultural feeling and the participation passion really impressed me as an immigrant here.
Apart from the cultural happenings, the one and only distillery in this capital city, The Helsinki Distilling Company, has launched possibly the first and the only cask of smoky Applejack (named Smoke Jack) in the world. The apple were smoked by B-Smokery BBQ Restaurant & Bar and then fermented+ distilled in Distillery. The spirit was then matured in small oak cask of 20L for eight months. They were served as cask strength and exclusive to B-Smokery. It was fruity, pretty sweet (from the apples) with a touch of savoury and smoky in the palate. The wood was unexpectedly not having much influence on the taste, Smoke Jack maintained its fruitiness and also freshness without any woodiness. Besides even it was served at cask strength (didn't remember to ask for the exact strength but guess it's around early 50's%), the drink was very smooth and round (this should be thanks for the help of the oak) and was a pretty amazing Applejack.
This innovative idea and drink has for sure lots of potential in the market and further product development. It can be quite a popular product. However, I was a bit sad that it was an exclusive production to the bar and with only one cask produced. But who knows what is going to happen in the future launches from The Helsinki Distilling Company- perhaps there would be more creative drinks coming out from Finland? I will be telling more about the story of this craft distillery in coming articles. Stay tuned!