If you take two nine year old things, and put them together, does not that create a single 18 year old entity? I mean, 9 + 9 = 18, right? Apparently the guys at Single Cask Nation failed elementary school mathematics. What’s that, John? I’m the idiot here? Well, we’ll resolve this at dawn, John, at the Otter Farm. Anyways, the Single Double Cask Nation Craigellachie 18yo—what? Okay, fine, anything to get you to stop, John. The “9” year old is an audacious move. Apparently, there were two different 9 year old Craigellachie 1st Fill Oloroso Octaves, but out of whimsy or an impish spirit of the perverse or from a boldness brought upon by too many drinks, they decided to combine the two to see what happened. And, lo, they saw that it was good.
On the nose, it’s a ruddy oxblood red, oxtail soup, cherry-glazed beef stew with very tart teeny tiny wild strawberry treacle mixed in. There are wax figurines bent in vaguely warlike poses, but that seen individually, could be interpreted as supplicants. Black pastrami wrapped around black cherries being fed to a strawberry pop tart suffering from retrograde amnesia. We caught the distinctive odor—once you’ve smelled it, you can never unsmell it—of crocodile axilla after running (crawling?) a marathon. John got Costa Rican tree frogs, because of course he did.
The mouth is lacquer on paint, glossy enamels and crunchy pears used in still lifes, stolen from Rembrandt’s atelier. There’s a tannic tang, transubstatiated by a jot and tipple of judiciously added water into furniture. It goes from Vincent Price’s House of Wax to Jordan Peele’s Get Out.
The finish is really spicy at the back end of the throat, if you will, and fills the whole back with pyrotechnics. Cinnabon buns on crisped, but not overdone, slabbed applewood bacon. Long and spicy, like the sandalwood clove sceptre wielded by the Spice Queen in battle against Octavian’s Army of the Oceanborn Octopi. (Why were they at war? They were battling over coastal cedars: One side wanted to build biremes, the other, gazebos and rose trellises, the latter being Octavian’s dearest wish.)
On the scale of gambling actions–
The Single Double Cask Nation Craigellachie 9 Year 2008 (1st Fill Oloroso Octave) is slowly lifting the backgammon doubling cube, staring down your opponent with your piercing gaze, and slowly, slowly, ever so slowly, handing it over–The stakes will double, should it be accepted, and the game will take on a higher drama, another turn of the screw’s worth of tension, and nothing will ever be the same.