On the nose, the Knappogue Castle 12 opens with rosewater, lemon essence, dandelion jerky, prosciutto ham cured with paint thinner. After the thinner evaporates, what is left behind is oddly like a withered honeydew melon gnawed on by a consummate bandito raccoon. We also intuited a kitchen sponge, not dried out, tempered by the ineffable sadness of yet another Pinewood Derby last-place finish. After that, musty oak bark cradled by Jamaican Ugli Fruit rinds. John found erasers in the shape of marzipan candies in the shape of erasers, but I think he’s been reading too much Baudrillard and Derrida of late. Thin slices of Granny Smith apples sautéed in canola oil.
An unexpected peppery buttery mouth, like the first time you tried a croissant sandwich with smoked sockeye salmon. You’ve traveled parsecs beyond Pepperidge Farm crescent rolls, my friend; you’ve gotten closer to the source of the fountain of the wellspring of the essence of the layerings of transmogrified moo-juice and flour. ‘Tis a light, bonny, freckled mouth; puckered and wry, parsley and rosemary, but no sage, and no time for this nonsense.
The finish is hot, long, and evocative of dandelion seed pods, but if you accidentally inhaled them rather than blowing them. (And you wondered why all the other flower children were laughing at you as you retched in the meadow while they danced with scarves.) The spices depart quickly, as if you sneezed at an inopportune season. [John: Wow, that was a truly wretched pun.]
The Knappogue Castle 12 is a collaboration between Michael Flatley, the Lord of the Dance, and the Pogues, the Anti-Lords of Irish punk–Imagine the possibilities! Or don’t! Neither one will care at all!
–Our thanks to Laura Baddish and Castle Brands for the sample!