The Speyburn 25 nose, fresh out of the bottle, is the crackling smoky crust of barbecued wild boar ribs in prune sauce, prepared by Lionel Whitsbury, the real-life model for Piggy from Lord of the Flies, festooned with boiled leeks that escaped from Vichyssoise, leading to the lesser-known adage: “Out of the soup, onto the rib rack.” Also served at the table is Peking duck stuffed with overripe bananas, new merino wool socks, and the axe-savvy of a master lumberjack. A little peppermint, minus the pepper, but not actually mint. A woody winecask converted to a baby’s bassinet.
If it’s a feast for the nose, it’s Mr. Magorium’s Altered States Sensorium on the mouth. An orange raspberry reduction in search of vanilla ice cream. Backdraft of cherry syrup, also in search of vanilla ice cream. Hickory and anise tingling the tastebuds of the notably esthete athlete hipster, John: The chill of chicory, the irony of the effete. Parchment paper with an old bill of sale written on it, licked clean by a kangaroo whose pelt was turned into a toiletry kit containing Bermuda rum aftershave and Oral Q toothpaste (a special blend available only to Gwynneth Paltrow and her friends).
The finish, just a bit further down my gullet and the river of time, is a kaleidoscope that recently entered a 12-step program for rehabbing its irrationally exuberant ADHD. It starts to tingle, bursts with botrytis, the noble rot, and then segues smoothly to lowdenomytitis, the egalitarian rot. The masses will find brined grapefruits that went for a swim in the Dead Sea, then got caught in a wayward crab trap with sea cucumbers. Awkward. The thanes and Bruces will take note that distinct layers on the finish are intermingled, but somehow immiscible, like an asiago ranch dressing that lost its emulsifiers on the way to the greens.
The Speyburn 25 is the gas oven–It’s a Promethean taming of the raw power of a bonfire, yet with time and patience, it lovingly brings soufflés and sautéed vegetables to a gentle consommé-ation.
–Our thanks to Brian Johnson and InterBev for the sample!