My journey to whisky came via wine, then cognac, with the occasional vintage port or good sherry thrown in for a change of pace. That is to say, I drank grape juice before the water of life, and as such, I perhaps have more of an appreciation for the way the tang of octopus blood mutes peat-inflected vintage Fender tube amplifiers used at Coachella. The port cask adds the acrid bang of a kid’s cap gun being fired into the watermelon of the imagination.
But the peat won’t be denied: drinking this is like setting a bog on fire to smoke a spitted pack of peccaries stuffed with sour cherries and the joy of tearing, for the first time, into St. Louis Cut pork ribs slathered with the hope that when morning breaks at the crack of dawn, the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts. Fermented grass basket-woven with kimchi into a plaited riding crop, used to play “pin the tail on the donkey” with a real donkey. It’s a party that’s partly porty and partly peaty: a veritable Port-a-Peaty!