Take a custom-made pair of Birkenstock sandals right off the assembly line. Douse them with port and then buckle them onto bare feet for a walk on the wild side. First you slide through some charcoal and treacle. Then you tiptoe around a puddle of blade oil and woodshop dust. Finally, you kick into the thick dollops of jelly scooped off of the belly of a messy toddler. Yes, this is a strange adventure.
The mouth is yummy. There is the distinctive herbalicious reflexivity I have noted on many of the older Benromach expressions. What happens next surprises me. There’s an expansion of the flavors so broad and inclusive that the notes of menthol join hands with notes of womenthol. And just as quickly, up steps wymynthol, then inter-thol and cis-thol. And that’s not thol. I’m getting some gestures—some body language if you will—that I’d swear tells me that sherry casks were used here. If not, then I’d wager there’s some fruit compote kept cold in a bottom of a well.
The finish finds my sandal-shod feet moving through tidal pools formed in the creases of tree roots. It’s deep and dark and fathomless. Waves of pleasure crash upon my being. The weight of the whisky pulls with gravitational insistence upon my serotonin receptors. “Release the hounds,” I say for no reason, to no addressee, and without any canine referent. But I cannot recall a time when my words matched my mental state more perfectly.
On the scale of things that are 35–
The Benromach 35 is Viktor Genev–This Bulgarian soccer player, who played a year for St. Mirren in the Scottish Premier League, is regarded by some as the greatest player to don the number 35. That he wore 52 for St. Mirren gives me the irrational hope that, someday, Benromach will introduce a more-than-half-century-old whisky.