Tangerine liqueur spread over and dried on your lover’s body. Dragonflies with honeysuckle-petal wings, doing lazy looping arcs like shadow puppets against a harvest moon. Eel skin operating gloves; not for style, mind you, this was after the latex embargo. Whole clementine oranges pressed through a piece of muslin for a hipster cocktail. A really nice spa soap held by a thick, braided, soft cotton cord. “Wow, they brought back the soap-on-a-rope,” I think to myself before noticing that it rests on super fluffy Egyptian towels that smells faintly of long-kept secrets. All of which is to say, this is an evocative nose.
The mouth yields its secret right away. The central part of it is smoky raspberry jam! Wow and wow again. This is such a curious co-location of flavors that I can’t get enough. If this were an oral anaesthetic, I’d have elective endodontic surgery every Friday. The mouth light and runny, but it is explosive with taste, like a pie stuffed with many exquisite fruits that have become bloated with sugars and fermentation. Some bitterness, like getting excited about a piece of celery and eating too close to the bottom. A celery root ganache with quinoa crust served by a vegan you used to be interested in.
The finish gives itself wholly over to fantasy. I’m at the British Museum licking smoked raspberry jam out of the limbless armpit of a centaur on the Elgin Marbles. I look over to see the anguished Lapith, strangled with the Centaur’s hand, and think about the underlying oneness of all creation when footsteps come rushing in, my pulse quickens, and I know even then that it was all worth it. And because this is fantasy, I am not punished but rather rewarded for my restoration efforts on that stubborn armpit by government attachés in Great Britain and Greece.
The Single Cask Nation Glen Elgin 18 is not Boston or Edinburgh, not Lexington (Kentucky) or DeLand (Florida), and not Bogota (Colombia) or Columbia (Missouri). No, it’s Fez, Morocco, for it is both the Athens of Africa and the Mecca of the West. Can one city be both? Yes. And it doubles as a really cool kind of hat!
–Our thanks to Jason Johnstone-Yellin and Single Cask Nation for the sample!