The Whisky Explorers Club allows a steely-nerved Dante, lost in a dark wooden vat, the opportunity to descend blindfolded into Hell and, via sharp nosing, keen memory, discriminating tastebuds, and good water of life to rise to Heaven on Earth. This, by drinking from a flight of four whiskies, each nip–a favorite size here at the Malt Impostor–cloaked invitingly in a black velvety bag. Every detail is attended to, down even to having the bottles cosseted in extra swaddling, preventing a tactile-y astute taster from identifying the bottle by a unique shape. As if, after several drams, we remember the shape of the bottle!
This reviewer must confess that in the absence of knowledge of the test, he must tip his hat to John, who by dint of his razor-sharp whisky intuition and voluminous knowledge of Plato, ascended quickly through Purgatory to Heaven. This reviewer, by dint of addled wits, too much locavore food, and too much inhalation of granite dust, remained stuck in the 3rd circle of Hell, reserved for the gluttonous. (At least I have the company of James Beard, Julia Child, and Brillat-Savarin.)
The nose of Mystery Dram #1 was redolent with narcissus and jasmine. “Flowerly floral,” we redundantly noted repetitively. (And after only one sip. My goodness.) The legs, with which various Impostors are besotted, were figuratively spiders on LSD, weaving weirdly wonderful webs. In the mouth, fire faded quickly; a volcano running in reverse, or perhaps simply burping after spewing magma. Sweet and hot with a long burning finish, like the enervated feeling in the final 500 meters of a marathon. It may well be likened to the extended stays Luther spent on the toilet, stricken with constipation, as he wrote his famous Ninety-Five Theses. Mystery Dram #1 is the lost 96th Thesis: Bushmills!
The Bushmills rates as The Ramayana–WTF? What do Monkey Kings, Rama, Shiva, Vishnu, and multi-headed demons have to do with Irish whisky? I’ll be damned if I know, but it’s the right rating.