“Heart of Darkness.” That’s what I say to myself as I walk across the shimmering hot tarmac in my brand-new Chuck Taylor specials. Squish, squish, squish, my shoes say as they sink into the pitch. Around me is the smell of leather, rubber pistol grip, and éclair filling used as shaving cream by the Candy Man. For I am nosing the Nikka Pure Malt Black. And I feel like the time I was smuggled out of a war zone inside a piano case by a cadre of clowns as part of a little-told collaboration between UN Peacekeepers and a USO vaudeville troupe.
The mouth is extraordinarily light. I’ve known tepid white tea to be more robust than this. But then the flavors kick in and it’s got vim and vigor. Peat, to be sure, but the sort that gives equine chewing gum its particular delights. Or a cocoa brownie, if they were made with oatmeal flour. Then, like a fire-ant bite, comes late-registering power.
The finish interweaves the mouth so thoroughly that the overall impression is of a one-act play that is all climax. Sort of like a mash up of the final scenes of Apocalypse Now and Star Wars: “Luke, I am your horror, the horror!” But then notes of lacquered licorice emerge, and they sidle up to mango slices from the Victorian Era. For there is oldness and dustiness and maturity of a tenor that we did not expect.
On the scale of little known facts about Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes–
The Nikka Pure Black Malt is the fact that they are used by power lifters–The simplicity of the design centers the powerlifter, helping him or her to be properly planted and efficiently use energy.