I must note off the top that the name of this dram evokes in my mind images–and sounds–of the Swedish Chef from The Muppets (my apologies up front to our Swedish readers). I imagine him slowly but surely destroying the kitchen, while saying something like the following: “Next I poot zee sigurd in zee bool. Three-a iggs gu in effter thet. Zeen i meex zeem up! Bork Bork Bork!” OK, enough of that. Thanks for indulging me.
On the nose, this travel exclusive opens like the world’s best dish soap. Leona Helmsley dish soap. The brand name is “Queen of Clean.” Then the nose morphs toward stewed chrysanthemums, or orchids opening before your eyes via time-lapse photography. The nose just gets nicer and nicer: it’s like a Dickens plot, with new characters and plot lines being introduced all the time–only there are no social ills portrayed in this dram. But the nose is also muted, not unlike Miles Davis. There are also notes of a wheat field with something savory food on a barbecue in the far distance. Or like beeswax from bees that pollinate wheat, if that’s possible–or even if it’s not. Or perhaps like smelling fresh grains and being able to extrapolate to the breads they will produce and the butters and jams you’ll use on them. Or possibly being in an antique butter churn used by reinactors, to reinact buttermilk.
The mouth opens like a muslin rag used to wrap the bottle of port as it’s decanted into a cruet. And myrtleberry scones on cloisonné dishes. With lingonberry jam. It’s wonderfully smooth, but it still has a kick. It’s like battle-worn armor, with our hero nearing the last leg of his journey. This is no beginner’s whisky; it’s a connoisseur’s whisky.
The finish cloys and dries like thick sherry. Oddly enough, it also opens up the sinuses. In that latter way, it’s somewhere between horseradish and wasabi: it’s a rich man’s Vaporub, but it’s applied internally. The finish…persists. I have an easier time getting cashews out of my teeth.
This is a firing squad dram, one designed for the shooters. As he savors the last drops from his glass, Bill no longer cares whether he’s firing a blank or not: he trusts that the government has identified the bad actor and that he deserves his punishment.
The Highland Park Sigurd is Glamdring–Sigurd’s own sword might’ve made the cut here, save for the fact that it was named “Gram” (and not after his grandmother). We won’t go all the way to Excalibur here, but Gandalf’s sword, also known as “Foe-Hammer,” will do nicely here. It’s Glam (and not Gram).
–Our thanks to Steph Ridgway and Highland Park for the sample!