The Chieftain’s Linkwood 17 Year Old (Oloroso finish)

30 ml dining car companion

chieftains-linkwood-17-year-oldTasting notes:
The Chieftain’s 17yo Linkwood (Oloroso finish) nose is subtly, yet overpoweringly sherried, as if you took the finest tenderlion, minced it as if it were garlic, then simmered it with rich beefy onions in a palladium Dutch oven until it all reduced and carmelized into a thick paste that you smeared all over your body en route to committing suicide (by tiger) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. At the outset, there was a German factory funk, an aroma wafting from the floor of a meticulously cleaned industrial installation, but it fades like morning dew, leaving peach hard candy that’s been amplified by the banjo and ukelele stylings of an electric alt-country duo.

The mouth starts at nectar and quickly segues to wine-y (not whiny) thin coatings of varnish on a restored Rembrandt. This is a dram of mercurial mood and lightning shifts, yet each new stop, like that of a magical mystery train, is a definitive über-reality on a new branch of the multiverse. We’re at Jelly Belly City, then Life Saver Village, then Sugarless Fruit Compote Hamlet, next the Memory of Elementary School Years (the Good Days) Town.

The finish continues the voyage by starting at Amber Tarville, most famed for the forest of trapped Venus Fly Traps which gave up all-too-easily to the resinous drip, drip, drip of Inevitability Metropolis. Next stop: Outlierborg! The finish grows and grows, faster than mountains cracking upwards during exuberant tectonic plate shifts, but slower than quicksilver spilling through Grand Moff Tarkin’s hands. Maybe approximately the amount of time required to become addicted to Jolt Cigarettes (Double the tar and triple the nicotine)?

On the scale of things that grow and grow and grow on you over time—and no, John, I don’t mean like moss or fungus—
The Chieftain’s Linkwood 17 Year Old (Oloroso finish) is the cycle of Bela Bartok’s string quartets–When you first hear them, especially the 4th,  you say with a chuckle and a pointy elbow to the ribs, “Is this music?” but when your mentor fails to laugh along with you, indeed, fails to even crack a weary grin, you listen again and again. Suddenly, there’s a breakthrough, and you are closer to the essence of tone, development, rhythm, and harmony than all your baroque and romantic loves ever got you.

–Our thanks to Chieftain’s and ImpEx for the sample!

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