The Exclusive Malts Speyside 10 year 2004 Single Port Barrel comes in at 115.4 proof: Is that all ya got, Exclusive Malts? 115.4 proof? Do you think I’m not manly enough to just chug this down, leading to a tasting note of “burned like fire, made my blood hotter than August”? I’ll show you; I’m just gonna pour the whole sample in my eye! Are you not entertained? Am I not manlier than you suspected??? [Yeow! It hurts! Dear god, what was I thinking??]
My right eye is now useless, but fortunately I am touch-typing my live-blogging of this dram. If I had reliable voice-to-screen software, I might give it a go so I could use my hands to staunch the flow of tears. But your loyalty demands I give myself over to the task, and so here goes the nose: I get springtime in the Versailles palace. Not all the flowers are in bloom—really, nothing is blooming yet—but there are herbs and potted plants, exotic waxes and finishes, oil portraits being painted, well-honed scissors cropping glue-stiffened organdy and crinoline, calvados, and Louis XIV’s shoe-buckles being polished by a pomaded and powdered courtier currying favor. Après moi, le déluge des mots, he might have said, had he written for our blog. Oh, and caramels, too, of course.
The mouth is warm without being hot, smooth and full. A lemon/orange citrus hybrid or citronella candle keeping insects and bad dreams at bay. It’s not oily, but it’s not not-oily, either. It hits a sweet spot, a golden mean between the two, and while I’ve never read Aristotle on whisky (the lost volume of his philosophy, The Hibernian Maieutics, was a near miss by Umberto Eco). A lost theory on the Amber Mean, rather than the Golden Mean.
The finish is the sort I love; the kind that goes from pulsating to scintillating to chthonic throbbing, before back to a kind of an ostinato like a pair of flamenco dancers’ castanets making a gentle larruping all the way down and then up. I want an oscilloscope tracking the frequency shifts and modulations, leaving finally a caldera on the front of my tongue. Wow.
–Our thanks to Sam Filmus and ImpEx for the sample!