I have to remark first on the beautiful bottle. It’s a perfectly opaque, muted black bottle, like the ebony flats and sharps on a piano left in the sun at a landfill. There are crows on it, tapping out baleful tunes to vex the blue jays and avenge long-forgotten slights. And the conceit is just as alluring. How audacious is it to obtain vintage whisky with the use of a time machine so that we can experience today what before we could only conjecture about? I hope they can go back and get some really old Littlemill…
[Bill: “Um, John, you do know—” Stephen: interrupting with a whisper, “Shhhh. Not this time, Bill.”] Oh, and while they’re in there, they should swing by the library at Alexandria with a solar powered scanner and several thumb drives.
The nose is goatskin congas in a smoke free speakeasy, nuts, and porcelain dishes dried with crisp linen towels. An orphaned kitten cleaned by its unlikely adoptive mother, a monitor lizard. Lemons preserved in King Arthur’s Court. That’s some faint but high register citrus, as if sniffed through a hypoallergenic drier sheet. Fresh cut 2×4 under your nose. Alderwood, I’d say. The mouth is a healthy ladle of sheer deliciousness. The elegance and richness is tucked into the crevices of orange rind bitterness. Tangy. Flavorful. Almost crunchy like scampi crisps that are all the rage at the Arthur Treacher’s seafood restaurant in Chelsea. The finish is savory, oh so savory. There’s spice and something tannic. A sachet of oak willow bark, lily leaves, and Mardi Gras doubloons. Then the bitterness I love so much: coffee grinds, pecan shells, and more lip-smacking tang. This is a tweed jacket dram: the hound’s tooth biting deep into the herring’s bone, with an Inception-like series of leather elbow-patches upon elbow-patches upon elbow-patches.
The Lost Distillery Auchnagie Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is Craddock Tweed–Lightweight at under 400 grams, and from a distance it is a muted lovat. But up close there are windowpanes formed of periwinkle and aquamarine lines that invite you to look into another world or into another time and imagine life as it once was in a simpler age.
–Our thanks to Jeffrey Karlovitch and The Lost Distillery for the sample!