Imagine you’re at a ski lodge, high on a mountain, on a blue bird day: The sun beats down on the terrace where you lounge, drink in hand, Gore-Tex® unzipped, boots unbuckled, muscles in a state of X-treme glycogen depletion, when you catch sight of a pair of goggles: of Oakley Red Iridium goggles which were lately wiped with a microfiber cloth. You were wrong: that was just the Arran 12 Cask Strength sitting in your glass, inveigling you away from the slopes into the dreamy orange groves of Southern California, circa 1910. The pervasive odor in your fugue-state is that of a raku-glazed Mexican terra cotta vase holding limeade, ready to be served to you, the master of the hacienda. Your neurons fire desperately, trying to determine if you are, in fact, on the terrace of the ski lodge or the patio of your hacienda. But it matters not, the Arran whispers to your soul, your mind is a trap laid for you by Apollo and millenia of philosophers. Only I am real: smell my spearmint and fresh-cut fig leaves. Think of Double-Mint Gum™, but not the twins. Think of guava gum, available in Guam. Drink me!
You succumb, of course, to the succubus in the bottle, the auburn genie, the bringer of respite from the world. You are surfeited with creamy pepper; a pepper ranch dressing? A Julius Pepper ranchero, sacking your groceries? Cinnamon morphing to cloves, magically transformed to a pineapple ham that is even more magically made kosher. Butterscotch, now whispers the Arran, and then startles by shouting, BUTTERSCOTCH! Your houseboy (or is it a ski bunny?) appears with a guava-cantaloupe daiquiri-tini, and you don’t even think twice—but magically do think thrice. A potsticker Caesar salad appears, but you wave the waiter away, he’s not in this film. Take that! and that! and those umami Edamame fresh fries back to your mommy! But to no avail; the Muses are not mollified.
The finish finishes quicker than a wink, quicker than Lindsey Vonn barreling slaloming on the shoulders of giants. It’s a magic trick! It’s an illusion! you try to cry, still feeling the tingle at your tongue, the savor of the dram evaporating like Lance Armstrong’s unshed tears. Only the magic is left, like the Cheshire Cat’s grin, like Mr. Mxyzptlk‘s name, backwards, hanging in the air.
The Arran 12 Cask Strength is the spinnings of Scheherazade in One Thousand and One Nights–Open anywhere, close somewhere else, enjoy your journey!
Our thanks to Sam Filmus and ImpEx for the sample!
HAPPY BURNS NIGHT EVERYONE!