Upon decanting this tiny bottle into an absurdly tiny nosing glass (here at the Impostor, we try to do things to scale), one is struck by the dark color of this expression, which is reminiscent of a Whizzinator-less drug test after having three espressos and a beet salad. On the nose and tongue, deep, rich aromas and flavors abound: walnuts, dark chocolate Riesens, and an amaretto-laced cigarillo clenched firmly between the gleaming white teeth of the hottest bandida known to man, as she climbs into the saddle to start her day. The finish yields hints of general nuttiness, but more than anything else, it’s long and leathery: a few weeks with this dram, and you’d talk with a voice sounding not unlike Sam Elliott. This beautifully balanced whisky melts on the tongue and offers such a satisfying finish, the last of the liquid is liminal, luring one to look longingly at the lacing in the glass, which in turn leads one to wonder: Why does it resemble seeping road rash? And why am I so thoroughly undisturbed by that image at this moment?
The Balvenie Portwood 21 is far from being just any port in a storm–it’s much more fitting here, to adapt a phrase of which Bill is particularly fond, to say that it’s over the yardarm somewhere, especially if you’ll be drinking this dram.