Jasmine-scented peanuts, tropical flower potpourri, a burled wood instrument panel washed with tears of joy. Kentucky blue grass sheared by an antique scythe, woven into a three-button tweed jacket, then worn by a warm fire. This is a fine nose. But it’s the mouth of this luscious Irish whiskey that beckons like the high bright sounds of a tin whistle leading an ensemble of stringed instruments in song. Caramel cherry tea, flower petals and fixie pedals. A giant flan to replace a leaky waterbed. Dew-drenched heather, moss on a rock in a meadow, butterflies soaring with eagles in a thermal. Wow, this is one of the most memorable Irish whiskeys I’ve ever had. And that includes the brilliant special Jameson whiskey Joe once shared at Federal Wine and Spirits in Boston. Really, this is like the time a Menschenmenge of musikalisch Elfen tuned my Bosendorfer baby grand piano and then turned to manipulate my spine with chiropractic precision. This whiskey produces more contentment than that found in a miniature tabby cat curling up in the bowl of a still-warm pipe. The finish is like seeing the best Pixar movies for the first time, or like being bathed in the grease from the printing press used to announce the repeal of Prohibition, or being tickled by the notes on the score of Chopin’s Opus 10 Etude No. 3 in E Major come to life after a midnight rêverie when the guests have all left and your belly is full and the sounds of mirth and warm fellowship still hang in the air of your home.
The Celtic Cask 1996 Aon Irish Whiskey is being played by Keith Jarrett on January 24th, 1975 in Köln, Germany—The Köln Concert, as it came to be called, would go on to be the best-selling solo jazz record of all time.
–Our thanks to Simon Brooking and Beam Global for the sample!