The Wemyss “Dunes” 29 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky greets your nose with a cheery rusty bucket, a tentative can of Sterno® chafing fuel, serene lemon pepper powder in an obvious Lipton pasta mix box, and a well-trod, much-beloved Oriental print acrylic carpet in the foyer. It has incipient “shaken dram syndrome”; it must open up or shut up, doubtless leading to an open-and-shut case. (In case you were wondering, the case is leather with brass appointments.) 29 years is the length of the sentence, and you will spend it eating sharp lemon blueberry tarts and huffing smuggled-in sap from pressure-treated lumber. After yet more time, it’s nose-candling with key lime juice and honeycomb candle: It’s the opposite of Christmas; do not wait, open immediately!
The mouth is chewy squibs, Roman Candles, Squealers, and Flying Spinners; a veritable piñata of firepowder products. We also found cumin-coated fire-ants (a South Texas delicacy), Pixy Stix Straws of tropical fruit sugars, and coal-dust that’s a precursor to the “Black Palate,” a rare affliction affecting 1 out of every 10,427 whisky drinkers (on average).
The finish is a good scrum with amber hockey-pucks on an unsmoothed rink—the Zamboni drivers are striking for better working conditions and fewer octopi on the ice. A long slow burn, like you might feel watching the nightly news, tempered by sniffing vacuum nozzles, sticking your nose in a dust-bunny warren in a Victorian Bed & Breakfast, a freshly-bathed gerbil, and a leather shoe-cobbling elf’s fart.
The Wemyss “Dunes” 29 Year Old Highland is a Michelin 3-star restaurant appearing in Twentynine Palms, California–Twentynine Palms is a essentially a US Marine Corps town in the desert, but I prefer to think of it as a place where Durga goes for fine French dining. ¡Olé!
–Our thanks to Karen Stewart and Wemyss for the sample!