The expression is just old enough to drink itself in the US. That might explain the ouroboric purity of what I found inside, starting with the lovely wine-dark hue. But my first impression was of the impressive oak box that slides out as if it were the spine of an impressive tome, like a first edition of Stedman’s medical dictionary, or a volume from the second edition of Diderot’s Encyclopédie, or my leather-bound Frankin Books edition of Susan Powter’s Stop the Insanity! It totally taps into my childhood fantasy to have a hidden room accessible through a bookcase that opens by pulling out the right book. The bottle archived inside is something impressive, too. Tall body, broad shoulders, and a short, thick neck—it lacks the feminine grace of the Glenlivet bottles I’m used to. But I’m very glad to report that the nose is entirely continuous with my expectations. The nose is serious, simple, sophisticated: so much so that you imagine a hungover Donald Draper saying these three words in an eleventh-hour sales pitch to his clients (they liked it). Maybe, while I’ve got him conjured in my head, he could also say these three words: Cherry cough syrup. Oh, and can I get him to just read this part, too? A dream team creamsicle: raspberry, mocha, and a magician’s wand in place of a wooden stick. Yes, that’s perfect.
The mouth finds me floating in clouds as the sinking sun sets them ablaze in a riot of orange. I’ve got the world’s best headphones [Audio companies take note; this space for lease], listening to Tangerine Dream playing a cover of Zeppelin’s “Tangerine” and I’m eating a perfectly ripe, juicy apple. The clouds are replaced by a tide going out on a beach depicted by Seurat. I’m one of the Bathers at Asnières! A finish of fine hay that even Parmenides’ stallions are not good enough to eat. A gustatory echo like savored spare ribs, a moveable feast, a porktacle. But as the poet says, nothing gold can stay. The receding finish leaves me with the sense of being in front of the night club you can never get into, the velvet rope forever at your waist, thick-armed toughs looking at me disapprovingly but with a touch of sympathy, I think as I try to look through their sunglasses.
The Glenlivet 21 is:
“Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, ‘nostalgia’ literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.”
In my secret room, accessed by pulling a secret book and passing through a secret passageway, I pour a secret measure of Glenlivet 21 and know that I am loved.
Our thanks to Craig Bridger and The Glenlivet for the sample!