Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Even when fried in butter...........

Named after a GNW battle What next?

On the road with Bazza... Vaasa, Northern Finland 20 April 2016.

So, here I am in Vaasa, Finland (pop 60,000) earning Mrs Hilton's lunch money. My client takes me out to dinner in an Italian restaurant and we are presented with a special looking drink.

I am informed that it is 'officially the best gin and tonic on the planet'. Interesting for a gin soaked connoisseur expertly trained by the Richard Sharpe of the juniper berry, the aforementioned Mrs H.

Napue, Isokyro, Storkyro.. whatever.. it was a battle!

Award winning, locally distilled, 17 herbs - Napue Gin. The introductory speech was given by a pleasant young man and in his monologue he mentioned that the gin was named after the well- known local Battle of Napue (pronounced Naa pooo ey) which took place in 1714.

Whoa there young fella, 1714? He raced on, we did the toast and off he went. I chased after him. I enjoyed your speech, you mentioned the gin was named after a battle in 1714 right? Yes it was. In the Great Northern War? pardon? Against the Russians? Yes that's right. Who was fighting the Finns or the Swedes? Hmmm not sure but there is a memorial outside town.

Having scoffed the nosh and back at the hotel I looked it up - The Battle of Storkyro (in Finnish- Isokyro) 1714. 4,500 Finns under Armfeldt went down in a blaze of glory against 9,000 Russians under Golitsyn. Flank march, possible desertions, last stand... it has the lot.

Have a look at the link here:

The description is graphic and informative. The 'Great Wrath' followed and the hardship of the local Finns resulted in the locally held belief..

"Even when fried in butter a Russian is still a Russian"

It looks like a battle I want to try.

Don't know if it was snowing then but it was snowing today!

The gin was good too although I think the claim of best on the planet may be somewhat hyperbolic.

India on Friday, I wonder if I'll get near any 1690s vintage colonial forts after I earn my corn?


  1. Hope you picked a bottle up for Mrs H

    Gin Wit

  2. A very interesting account, I am sure you will find something of interest in India


  3. Grim battle, needless to say I had never heard of it. Looking forward to seeing you attempt it someday.

  4. Mrs LoA doesn't read the blog anymore, does she?

  5. Do you think I would be that reckless?

  6. Just read about the battle in vol. 2 of the GNW compendium

  7. Poke around on google and Google images and you can actually find quite a bit of stuff on it

  8. Barry, North Berwick gin was voted the best in Europe last year so I'll need to bring some through for Mrs H the next time we're together.

  9. That would be very welcome Dave. Just bought the Napue at duty free 38 euros for .5 litres no wonder the bloody Russians invaded these guys are highwaymen!!☠ I will play quartermaster at the next gathering and dish out the gin rations.. It's sounding more and more like Marlborough's march to the Danube by the minute!

  10. Barry - your energy, stamina and reports from around Europe and further afield are an inspiration. Not unlike Milord Duke! I go to the scene of his first independent command. It was said that Marlborough had achieved more than all William's Dutch commanders had done in Ireland or abroad during the whole of the previous year. Fortescue wrote ' in the matter of skill, the quiet and unostentatious captures of Cork and Kinsale in 1690 were far the most brilliant achievements of the war'. Break out those gin rations...!

  11. Peter, you are truly a master tactician. To have outmanoeuvred me with such a sublime compliment which compares me to my bete noire is a stroke of genius. With a flourish I doff my tricorne to you Sir, I accept the remark and acknowledge you as a genius in the art of war!

  12. Ah Barry - Chapeau to you too Sir...!

  13. Napue is excellent gin and we're certainly going to play Battle of our GNW -campaign, having the benefit - as a Finn - to able to use sources in Finnish. Even Finnish militia joined that fight. Check our campaign progress at

  14. Teemu, if you have sources in Finnish from which we mere mortals in the Anglo world could benefit.. would you be so kind as to illuminate our dark world with your knowledge.. please :)


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