White lace in a cedar chest, Mikimoto pearls, something borrowed, and something blue. And all of it wrapped in a silk dress pointedly not dry-cleaned after the wedding. A dried white rose reconstituted by someone weeping on it years after the fact. And then left to dry again. Such is the refined nose of the Usquaebach 15. On the mouth, this has more fight and spice than the Reserve. It’s like an overachieving middle child overlooked by parents who coddle the baby and cherish the first-born. This wonderful whisky has a great finish on both the fore and aft of my mouth. And yes, this nautical reference places me on a reconditioned ‘54 Lyman 15-foot trying to complete a bootlegging run in Put-in-Bay, Ohio. My white linen suit flaps in the breeze and the setting sun sparkles my unshaven beard. And this reference naturally places me in a much larger boat in a much warmer harbor. I’m in Miami where I’m rushing to meet my partner, Tubbs, for an assignment. Or is it a femme fatale that I’m meeting for an, um, assignation? Dear reader, of course it’s a femme fatale! Now I’m on land riding a uni-cycle outfitted with a knobby wheel for switchbacks and the Usquaebach 15 jostles around in my Camelbak backpack. I’m late for an Argentine barbecue. Even from a distance I smell the flank steak and offal cooked al asador. I slurp more Usquaebach and pedal harder, and now the smell mixes with winey and meaty notes from the chivito. As I arrive, the smell of charred fat on lamb hangs in the air with the tenacity of regret. But there is no regret here, only delight and joy.
Our thanks to Noah Goldstein and Usquaebach for the sample!