The Arran Smugglers’ Series Volume 2: The High Seas

750 ml prized part of the library's special collection

Tasting notes:
The Arran Smugglers’ Series Volume 2, The High Seas, opens…wow! This is like Pandora’s box’s inverse—Arodnap’s xob?—where everything great comes leaping out and just starts twerking. Curiously enough, Hope declined to join the Soul Train party, instead weeping briny tears. Dried apricots reconstituted in saline solution, then ground into orange paste and applied to a burlap canvas with other collage materials, like artisanal tin paperclips, by a conceptual artist self-named Heinrich Nebuchadnezzar, das Panzer auf Arte. Heinrich works with his “partner,” Mick the absurdist chimpanzee, who, when interviewed by Charlie Rose, flung poop. “Brilliant,” rejoined the host. It’s like the tough top fronds on a pineapple, and when Heinrich and Mick smoked them (against doctor’s orders), their brass bong became translucent, and they were sure that they saw an oily djinn within.

On the mouth…wow!…again. Deep, dark, rich. I’d say chthonic, because that’s one of our trademarks, but Heinrich and Mick demur. It’s like a subterranean river known only to smugglers; for you Game of Thrones aficionados out there, it’s like the secret watery passage Ser Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight, sails through to Stannis Baratheon, besieged at the fortress-island Storm’s End. John’s tongue folded itself in half nine times, in opposition to God’s Laws. It’s richly, lustrously oily: A cetaceous spermaceti oil extolled by Herman Melville, mispronounced by an Italian chef who was sure it was a new kind of pasta. There’s a smoky leatheriness that couldn’t be teased apart by an avid deconstructionist. There’s an ongoing tarry slurry of fruit which makes me want to, against doctor’s orders, smoke a cigar. Clove, but after removing that nasty tang that infects ham roasts. It’s ligneous, tubular, petrified, and a certified tax evader. Cereal marketers would proclaim that it came with Seven Secret Flavor Boosters, but Robb Report would let you know you were destined to never actually have it.

The finish simultaneously causes and cures seasickness, leaving your body in a state of exhilarated confusion, as if you were suddenly woken from deep REM sleep by Heinrich, Mick, the djinn, Pandora’s twerkers, and Scarlett Johannsen playing a Hawaiian slack-key koa wood guitar. (Guys, you got that, too, right? Guys? Fellas?) The finish is perfected tingle, a constantly exhaling ecstasy, like a whale always spouting through its blowhole. Truly, it is eudaimonia unto makarios. A rhetorician might remark that there’s nothing not to love, and would be right to do so.

On the scale of famous smugglers—
Wait a second! If a smuggler is famous, that’s kind of defeating the whole purpose, isn’t it? Shoot. On the scale of famous pirates—wait a minute! Pirates have negative connotations, and they won’t do for this whiskey. On the scale of self-referential failed ratings…okay, that’s just silly. Give me a minute. Another minute. Almost there…on the scale of characters in Game of Thrones, the Arran Smuggler’s Series Volume 2, The High Seas, is Yara Greyjoy. She’s a beautiful princess, a fearless pirate, a certified, funny, 100% badass who—as yet—has neither done anything dishonorable nor yet been dishonored. (Please GRRM, keep it so.) Can’t wait for Volume 3, Island of Arran, can’t wait.



–Our thanks to Sam Filmus and ImpEx for the sample!


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