I look into my glass, draw in a full whiff, and I’m convinced that I should fill my vape pen with this liquid. It’s a peat menthol! Or it’s used in the preparation of a very unusual scratch-n-sniff book made by Big Tobacco to introduce Islay Slims cigarettes: “You’ve come a long way, lassie!” Soon enough things settle out and a more balanced profile emerges. Twinkie filling smuggled through an automobile muffler. Dried grapefruit air filter. The kind of carefully-molded, perfumey soap that you’re not supposed to use when you see it in a host’s bathroom. With the peppery, minty, and pepperminty aspect of the menthol now almost entirely blown off, I get whole chestnuts, with X’s scored on their shells, wearing tiny lemon rind helmets. Let not the dogs of war be loosened upon this army!
I reach reflexively for my seatbelt as I draw the glass up to my lips. And yet, on the mouth, the peat is muted. Candy pervades my inner sensorium. I feel like the sweetest carrots and parsnips, fattened in brownie-mix soil, have been fed into a cotton candy machine. Now my hands are stained with sticky crunchy strands of the purest sweetness. But make no mistake, there is still steely focus here. It’s like a peat potato cannon aimed at the better angels of my nature, and I turn in time to see the devil on my shoulder entering the launch codes.
The finish reminds me of eel paprikash prepared at a Hungarian seaport. (“Um, John?” says Bill. “Shhh…” replies Stephen, taking the atlas from Bill’s hands and hiding it under the table). Also on the plate are prickly twigs of rosemary, singed black with glowing orange tips, being used as skewers for lamb. Long and smooth. Smooth and long. My mind begins to operate with the bizarre grammar of the alien visitors from Arrival, and all my alphas are omegas and my omegas are alphas. This is quite a good whisky.
On the scale of notable lamb puppets–
The Single Cask Nation Ardmore 8 Year 2016 is Lamb Chop–A darling blend of obstinacy and vulnerability, Lamb Chop has won fans everywhere. She’s is also a three-star general, having received a field promotion from Maj. Gen. Tom Conant.
–Our thanks to Joshua Hatton and Single Cask Nation for the sample!