Wow, I’m struck by the smokiness and char. “Flaming” heart, indeed! I’m nosing the ruins of the Alexandria library through a still-sappy poplar straw. There’s a bright, even winey, juiciness in there, no doubt, but mostly there is just ruin. I have the feeling of walking through an art exhibition—call it a “happening,” if you must—long after the police have broken it up. There is everywhere a fugitive quality: doors closed, opportunities lost, Cupid’s arrows poorly notched and misfiring repeatedly, and the smell of one’s birthright smoldering in the rage-filled breast of one’s nemesis.
And yet, on the mouth, there is some promise of redemption: an ashtray used to serve Weetabix to a child, milk from the udder, a pewter spoon warmed by eager lips and obliging hands. The smoke now turns warm and inviting, offering the promise of comfort not destruction. And then I understand: they have pulled this fine blend through a giant hookah. A check of the label confirms it. They say it’s not chill filtered, but nothing says its not hookah filtered by the tremendous bellows of a gentle giant’s lungs.
The finish is long, a slow draining porcelain tub with claw feet and lots of cast-iron appointments. Arachne weaves a hemp rope around my tongue and dabs my checks with nectar-based tar. Oh, wait, that’s her silk around my tongue and neck, and the sweet tar is her poison! Ah, well, I think to myself, there are worse ways to die. As the sweet, limb-loosening liquid overspreads me and my pulse slows, I find myself reaching for my glass to take one more wonderful sip.
The Compass Box Flaming Heart 2015 Limited Edition is “What is Bleeding Heart?”–The category was Flowers, and the clue was “The flower pictured here is called this, also a disparaging term for people on the political left.” Unfortunately, one losing contestant answered “Pansy.” Alas, being a Bleeding Heart makes one sympathetic, not a complete wuss. You neglect this difference at your own peril, as a Bleeding Heart will still kick your ass, even though she may express concern for your wellbeing afterwards.”