The Clynelish Distillery Only opens with marshmallows dipped into pineapple and orange nectar, flambéed over a smouldering redwood burl deck, then made into S’mores with Lindt™ milk chocolate truffle balls, moist coconut meat, and Ak-Mak™ crackers. Like an ottoman from the Ottoman Empire that was repatriated in a furniture swap from the warehouse of a feisty sugar cane socialist collective: the Empire extended much further than history books (other than secret history books) ever tell. It’s the last smell in the airplane cabin of a Boeing SevenFortyHeaven.
Sweet corn on a hot tin roof of my mouth. A Cooperstown Hall of Fame donut with special maple fudge glazing that memorializes Roger Maris’ 61st home run. And there’s no asterisk! Cardio-pulmonary arrhythmia on the way to meet your future harem in a pre-arranged marriage marriage marriage marriage…marriage. That is to say, you are so excited that your heart skips beats and your lungs gasp with, dare I say, “panticipation.”
[Stephen: He dared say it.]
[John: Can I wish this undone?]
More than those, an unlit eucalyptus cigar, dangling loosely, insouciantly from my lips. James Dean has nothing on the Clynelish, and neither does the French chef pâtissier making pineapple upside cake out of croissant flakes ground back to buttery flour, cream skimmed from the top of cream, and the unspoken dreams of odalisques. A Jungian therapist, Coco Chanel, and Neil Armstrong walk into the bar of a molecular gastronomy restaurant. But I beat them all to the (fruit) punch (line) and glorp it!
The mouth segues into the finish like Bach counterpoints miraculously merging into harmony for a measure, bringing yellow curry spices and wood-fired brick oven heat. The mouthfeel begins with dancing fireflies and yields to a rich mousse so delicate that it melts at room temperature.
The Clynelish Distillery Only 2013 is سلطان سليمان اول –Yes, you read that correctly: Suleiman the Magnificent, Caliph of Islam, the Kanuni. He ruled 46 years, oversaw the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire, and extended its borders from Somalia to Vienna, where he stopped to eat pastries and sausage. He brought laws to the Empire and spoke five languages. I’d like to believe that he also rode Clydesdales to Clynelish, but the historical record is curiously silent on this matter.