[After years of writing our own idiosyncratic style of reviews, I thought it was time to do a more traditional whisky review. I figured it would do no harm on this one, since it has recently sold out and is no more. In this case, my tardiness is due to an honest mistake: thanks to a snafu in divvying up reviews to write, it was not clear to me for a long time that this review was mine to write. But I was recently apprised of my mistake and am here now to make amends. Plus, if Serge from WhiskyFun could get his review out after it had sold out, why can’t we?]
Nose: Buttered toffee beer nuts in a cloisonné dish. Glowing angel wing armpits. Corncobs made of marzipan. Smelling the Crayola crayons box that God used to paint the Sonoran dessert. An early morning mist rising up over a meadow under the Sun, striking big beams on the wildflowers. And you are led so vividly into the whole scene by the person of your dreams you wonder if you’re not dreaming.
[OK, that’s just unworkable. I’ll try a more traditional review style:]
Mouth: Well integrated. Apricots. Coats the tongue.
DAMMIT! I JUST CAN’T DO IT! THIS MOUTH WON’T LET ME! (Plus, doing that is just so damn BORING!)
It’s not apricots, it’s an apricot slurry whipped in a copper bowl into a suspension so divine it rivals blood plasma. Tasting this is like deeply breathing in the Catacombs. And it isn’t just well integrated, it’s Michelangelo level integration—and Medici level richness! It’s stupendous.
[OK, maybe I can dial it back from here.]
The finish is redolent with roasted bamboo shoots.
If those bamboo shoots were skewers over and open fire.
And if there were chicken oysters cooking on the end of them.
[Nope, guess not.]
Now imagine those skewers were used as axles for roller skates on the Embarcadero.
It’s evocative, like inhaling crinoline from the dress of a 19th century beauty. It makes Bill want to become a saint. A Boondog Saint, but a saint nonetheless. And given how Bill is normally, we’ll happily accept the miracle this dram offers.
On the scale of saints of questionable moral character—
The Single Cask Nation Bunnahabhain 28 Year Old is Bruce Springsteen’s “Saint in the City”—Not to be confused with his more upbeat “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City,” it’s powerful and the work of an as-of-yet undiscovered virtuoso. It’s complexity integrated into a jaw-dropping form.