In my dream I walk into the baby room and see a dusty bassinet filled with coconuts. Each has fruit skin stretched over it, and the fibrous shell is visible where the eyes and mouths have been cut out. Rakish smiles abound. I try to imagine the jokes the besheathed coconut heads have told one another. (“Ben Nevis? More like Ben Nowvis.”) The nose on this whisky is such that I lean in for the set up knowing that the punch line will be great.
The mouth is perfectly cooked trout prepared stream side and served to campers who turned from hungry to hangry once the sun dipped below the tree line. There is muscularity and adroitness on offer; it is enough to make you forget the stillness and funereal quiet of the nose. Then wave upon wave of creaminess lashes my tongue like a too-small boat in storm. I find harbor in a gingerbread boathouse festooned as if it were on display in a department store window in the swankiest district in Berlin. Sugar plums, both real and dreamed, are just the first of indefinitely many items to appear, kaleidoscopically, into the horizon of my awareness.
The finish gets bigger and bigger. Bolder, one might also say. Kind of upheaval-ish, I must concede. Consider the most famous of the paradoxes of the minor Stoic philosopher, Hippocharcus of Shart, who bid his students to consider peppermint, but minus the mint, and also lacking the pepper. This pulse-quickening puzzle prompts my consciousness to stare into the EKG display that translates my excitement into spikes and dips in such quick succession that the paper looks like bird feathers viewed through a microscope. But for all of the synaptic firing and electrochemical stuff, and even long after the finish has abated, there’s almost an after-finish that I can think of only in terms of a haunting. Perhaps it was a poltergeist that placed those coconut heads in the bassinet. Perhaps the jokes I thought they’d exchanged were spells. I am enchanted.
On the scale of jokes with famous punch lines–
The Single Cask Nation Ben Nevis 20 Year 1996 (Refill Sherry Puncheon) is The Aristocrats–This is the kind of dram that builds and builds and develops and changes and undulates and permutates and at the end never fails to deliver.
–Our thanks to Joshua Hatton and Single Cask Nation for the sample!