Oooh, the nose on this ruby red dram is utterly unique! Plums, prunes, prunes that were once plums, and plums that wish to become prunes again. It’s new wine in old wineskins. There are entire forests of wood awaiting the day they are felled, lumbered, and taken to the cooper. These forests are filled with dancing pixies perfumed with flowers and mischievous intentions. They are chewing something, I think, and—look at that!—they’ve spit out masticated…it’s fruit they were chewing and they’ve spat it into a spittoon filled with triple distilled rum! Large cartoony sports mascots are walking toward it. It’s a pineapple and a coconut looking for a cocktail.
Wow, the mouth is delicious. Perfect texture—like communion wine that washes away a more sins than you can ever hope to commit. Kaleidoscopic flavors penetrate the heat of this dram, each different from the other, but held together with a tight family resemblance like a 500-slide slideshow from your Great Aunt’s trip to Morocco in 1953 that her grandniece shows to dinner guests when it’s time for them to leave. Licorice without anise. Chewy Jujubes. A flavor of Gatorade—like Riptide Rush—that sounds more like an unusual Rush tribute band fronted by Dick Dale than an refreshing drink. Hot and flavorful, delicate and vicious; it floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.
The finish unfolds like Ann-Margret in the scene with Elvis (in Viva Las Vegas), and might just make you dance as vigorously. Orange essence, an effervescent finish, bouncing around like Mexican jumping beans [Stephen: They prefer to be called Frijoles saltarines.] A red ant surge to defeat an army of walking stick insects. Reminds me of the Côtes du Rhône shandies I made in Majorca using Orangina and bitters. A great glorious dram.
The Glenmorangie Companta is paddling up the Dordogne with PBS travel writer Rick Steves–Can you think of better companion for such a trip than this genial fellow? I’m telling you, he’d become a friend for life.
–Our thanks to David Blackmore and Glenmorangie for the sample!