Traditionally, the 10th Wedding Anniversary is celebrated with tin or aluminum. But what do contemporary Peat Monsters give to each other when their marriage reaches such a milestone? I’d like to think he’d offer the carcass of a loch beist with suppurating wounds and obvious decay, whilst she could give a sporran made from highland cow kidneys. Just look at the depiction of the peat monster on the label. Three parts puffer fish, two parts Medusa, and a healthy dash of Flying Spaghetti Monster. H.R. Giger’s Sunday school sketches when he was a child. Outtakes from The Garden of Earthly Delights. Or maybe a page or two from the Codex Seraphinianus by Serafini. I’m looking in my cabinet to see which Glencairn glass I don’t mind discarding after I pour this into it. I’m expecting the result I had when pouring out boiling fried turkey oil into wax paper cups on a lark.
There’s no mystery about what they would have in their glass when they raise them and offer some incomprehensible toast. We were expecting a Michelin rated restaurant attacked by peat terrorists with a peat grenade. Or what we would imagine animals prepared by a 17th C. Islay taxidermist to smell like. Or that certain morning smell, the one that smells like victory. The Peat Monster 10th Anniversary, however, is unbelievably refined and balanced. A 100% cashmere hooded sweatshirt from Neiman Marcus with a corn silk zipper just pulled from the drier; sure, it’s a lot smaller, but boy, is it cozy. A street made of lacquered pine tree bark on which treadless racing slicks have no trouble gripping. If this is what earth really smelled like, I’d enjoy cutting my yard more / would have been more likely to take up golf / would have given that job as a grave digger a closer look.
The mouth is, in a word, fantastic. In two words, it’s really fantastic. And in one portmanteau word, it’s fan-freakin-tastic. The peat is so well integrated into the dram. It’s like Pete Sampras’ levels of integration: great baseline stroke but also brilliant up at the net. Besides, wasn’t Pete number 1 in the world for, like, six years during the nineties? I could expect the same from the Peat Monster. And in mixed doubles with the Compass Box Flaming Heart? Forget about it. Just crown them champions and get on with it.
By the time the finish unfolds like the flotation device underneath seat 8A on a rapidly descending airflight (which is to say, slooowly), I’m ready to make a commitment. I hereby swear my fealty to the Peat Monster and would sacrifice the first three of my children. (I have only two.) Really beautiful.
The Compass Box Peat Monster 10th Anniversary Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is the delight taken in the sight of the little baby gurgling and slurping in Rosemary’s bassinet. It’s not pure fatherly love at play there, but rather the delicious anticipation of the horror soon to befall the poor souls surrounding the baby. Devilishly good stuff.
–Our thanks to Robin Robinson and Compass Box for the sample!