To say what I’d like to say about the compelling nose of this blend of five different 41 year-old casks of grain whisky from two different distilleries, I am reminded of the words used by the Masai when referring to Mt. Kilimanjaro: “Ngàje Ngài,” the House of God. For there are oat scones used as hockey pucks on a sapphire rink. Then I find fecund raisins begetting whole rows of vineyard grapes in a remarkable usurpation of pollen, bees, and the natural order of things. Sure, there’s a brief lemon rind bitter note, like the one sung by a soprano jilted by her lover, the conductor. But then the chorus surrounds her in deep, round, citric encouragement. “We got you, girl,” the growing crescendo seems to say, and the conductor’s arms, sweeping and assured at first, tighten into a contortion of contrition. I shudder at the thought of bringing it to my lips. Do I dare?
Our dear readers know very well that I do dare. My report is this: the mouth is incredible. Imagine the one day each year that Starburst executives take the controls from the manufacturers, and complete a day’s product run with a year’s worth of flavor crammed into the candies. Willy Wonka himself would not have been able to tolerate the intensity of this. There’s an orange-mango nectar that steps off the tram onto the platform three stops before ambrosia. Then a peppermint ragtime octet starts up a jaunty tune and the soundstage is well distributed with anise notes. The tram leaves; the licorice fades to black; and I am made to consider what I shall call henceforth the “broducken”: a goldfish, swallowed through a beer bong funnel by a guy in a phone booth, who is himself surrounded by other guys until no more can be wedged in, and then the phone booth is crammed inside of a car filled with more bro-filled phone booths, and the whole, mess of young men is left like the strangest matryoshka doll on the university president’s lawn. Such are the thoughts inside of thoughts that this whisky, with its tastes inside of tastes, inspires.
At first the finish is a little faster than expected. But it redounds in wave like echoes in a strange geological formation. It’s the hand-drawn work of a failed humanities professor who, in the dark night of the soul of her tenure review, turned her attention to the publication of topographical maps of fictional planets. Valleys and peaks, buttes and marshes, drumlins and eskers—every detail so lovingly rendered you feel that you could read it with your fingertips. Willy Wonka’s retinue is perfectly dissipated; Willy himself is practically in repose; everyone is getting a golden ticket today.
–Our thanks to Bern’s Steak House for the sample!