On the nose it’s all freshly-opened Band-Aid®s. I’ve thrown two boxes into the back of the car because it’s a long car ride and my kids have nothing else to do. Soon, on the passenger side rear window, is a series of Nemo™ Band-Aid®s arrayed in a careful brick pattern, obscuring all but the top four inches of the window. On the driver’s side, by contrast, my daughter has Pollocked her window with strips of Dora the Explorer™, Hello Kitty®, and—dammit!—what are my vintage Six Million Dollar Man™ Band-Aid®s doing out? And then I realize it’s those Band-Aid®s, whose stickiness is such that it requires the others to hold in them place, that contributes the most to nose. There’s also white pepper through a burr grinder, L’eggs® panty hose through the same grinder (don’t ask), and kiln-dried hay so precious you wouldn’t offer it to be spun into gold.
The mouth is simply sparkling. Liquified diamonds poured through a Waterford® crystal beer funnel. Or perhaps a resplendent Russian lacquer box used by the Tooth Fairy℠ to hold a complete set of baby teeth. Renosing it brings apples: a Mutsu晴 apple tart kept cool in the fluorescent display case. The peat on the mouth is kept somewhat in hiding, as if behind bougainvillea bushes. My mind now turns to consider lobsters boiling but not knowing they are dying (kind of like my liver being pickled into uselessness, I remark ruefully), but this BenRiach tastes nothing like shellfish, liver, or the inevitability of death. The finish reminds me of Hershey’s® syrup, but replacing their chocolate with Valrhona’s, and whipped vigorously next to pats of unsalted, unpasteurized butter cut with piano wire. Finally, from behind the bushes again, some smoke and peat but none of the salt and iodine that would accompany them in an Islay malt. It’s the disquieting thought that your foreign exchange student sleeps in your bed during the day and wakes in time to hide the evidence.
–On the scale of Rumpelstiltskin variants–
The Single Cask Nation BenRiach 17 is the Scottish fairy tale, Whuppity Stoorie–Far more refined than the Welch tale Gwarwyn-a-throt, and with more subtlety than the German tale, Nägendümer, the Benriach is full of the unique Scottish character. It’s a thing of beauty.
–Our thanks to Joshua Hatton for the sample! Stay tuned for reviews of more Single Cask Nation bottlings!
To get your hands on your own bottles, visit singlecasknation.com