What’s the expression? Big things come in little packages? Well, this whisky calls to mind a variant: That delicious things can come in cheap, 1 litre, plastic bottles bearing a label that looks like cut out of a cheesy 1970s magazine ad. And so it is with the R&R, my nominee for whisky that most surpasses expectations.
On the nose, skateboard wheels turned vigorously in SoCal swimming pools. The buzzing wheels, heated by friction, sound like hornets from my perch on the gentle slope of the ranch home overlooking the pool. There are sugar-spiced chestnuts. Some really malty pancakes. All of it assembled in a spectrum of gold. The banana-yellow skateboards with amber wheels, the dried grasses around the pool, the setting sun refracted through smog, the chestnuts and pancakes. All of it golden, save for the Smurfette-blue dyed armpits on a woman named Sally. [Our readers will not lament the lack of a link for this, will they?]
The mouth is smooth, tasty, and without fustiness or complexity. One wants to say things like “this would be great in a cocktail” or “I feel like a 7&7,” but here I am, happily sipping it while the soda water and 7UP stay on the counter, unopened. Grizzly bear cracklins right out of the pan, putting little grease halos onto the paper plates. A hot pretzel dipped in honey. Grilled cabbage leaves dropped in a cup of tea.
There’s enjoyable spice on the finish. Consider the bristly, lumbersexual mustache—but after its wearer has wiped away the foam of a pretentious porter that had clung to it like a receding ocean wave. Some peppermint beard salve is in there. Plus some organic pink peppercorns dried by self-righteousness, then hastily crushed with the side of a Damascus steel santoku. I believe I feel a song coming on. Why yes, yes I do: “He’s a lumbersexual / And he’s not twee / He drinks R&R while he conducts R&D.”
On the scale of items in a pawn shop–
The R & R Blended Canadian Whisky is a jeweler’s loupe–Yes, I’m going to go ahead and call this the jeweler’s loupe of whiskies because it is 10x better than I thought it would be.
–Our thanks to Jobie Smith and Sazerac for the sample!