Imagine a rum-soaked holiday fruitcake that’s loaded with prunes and larded with jelly beans, gummi bears, and Swedish fish. Got it? Really locked down in the internal theatre of your mind? Your stepmum-in-law sent it to you, you’re unwrapping the layers of Saran wrap like Salome in the Dance of the Seven Veils. Got that? Good—the Nikka Taketsuru 21 year old noses nothing like that. It’s more like inhaling an almond-liqueur buttery poundcake wrapped in lovingly-preserved vintage autumnal foilage Maple leaves, being smoked over burning dessicated Saguaro cactus trunks, sans needles, and in-bloom cherry blossom boughs,—Prunus serrulata, if you want to be precise. It’s Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch; Arctic Circle Summer Night non-sunsets lighting the sky, roast hazelnuts extracted from Frangelico, and contra-positive dancing: IF there is NO pin, THEN there are NOT infinitely many angels dancing on it.
Imagine now that you are the wisest judge that ever lived, and a legitimate Saint, sans miracles, lives down the street. You’d be perfectly positioned to assess and comment on A Universal Good. Okay, drinking this is nothing like that: You are gobsmacked with your inadequacy to understand the Nature of Perfection. Words fail, ideas wither, and tastebuds effloresce. It’s the near-infinite backwards tree of my ancestors fore-ordaining this moment, sending generations of accumulated honor and wisdom in an all-consuming genetic mystic ramifying nervegasm: It’s glory in a glass, and a raspberry fruit roll-up that swaddled the baby Jesus. All leads to the Kielbasa Corngod crushing orange and pink peppercorns with a granite stave to create the best corndog pesto imaginable.
–Our thanks to Anchor Distilling, Co. for the sample!