Ah, this one starts off high, bright, and light. When I close my eyes I see Lite Brite™ pieces spelling out “high.” [Stephen: Uh, John, your eyes are wide open.]. Ahem, well then. There’s an alkaline note here, like powdered lime and baking soda, arranged in parallel rows, then snorted. Bill suggests that there are marshmallows toasted on willow wands, and now it’s all I can think about. Until he says later that leather emerges. Supple, unwaxed, light tan leather. I’m tightening up the straps on my Gfeller Field Case and champing them like a bit before a race to see the geodes.
Oooh, the mouth starts with juice box juice left to ripen on a window sill. It is the quintessence of a hazy IPA distillate. I’m going to need a moment to collect myself. [Editor’s note: one moment passes] Yup, we find it right in the sweet spot between the poles of arid and cloying. Rich and spreading; it’s like a chocolate spill in Germany that, once hardened, becomes a playground for baby goats. I decide to kick up my hooves and join them in spastic merriment.
The finish kidnaps the tip of my tongue. It is as frenetic as a three-ring circus at first, but it lasts as long as a seven-year-old’s memory of the same. Which is to say, it’s transformative, benchmarking. It’s the memory that forms the spine of your college entrance essay, and later is honed into your pickup line in bars. All of which is to say, it settles into a whole tongue experience. Stephen finds what he calls a reedy note, by which he means to say that the finish fires along the back sides of the tongue. Bill, it must be said, stays firm with his appraisal that it’s a tip-of-the-tongue experience. As for me, I get the suppressed memories of oat scones, dried limes, more leather, and the crack of whips that signals the start of the race.
On the scale of inexplicable exhortations–
The Cambus 30 Year 1988 The Sovereign bottled by Hunter Laing for The Whisky Barrel is “pass the tongue.”–Red Sox infielder, Eduardo Nunez, meant to encourage his teammates to play small ball rather than swing for the fences and to trust the others behind them in the batting order to bring them home. But instead of saying “pass the baton,” in English he said “pass the tongue.” That night they walked eight times, singled 13 times, and scored 16 runs in a rout of the Yankees. Yes, I think this is the kind of whisky I’d like to drink during a playoff comeback.
–Our thanks to The Whisky Barrel for the sample!