Wow. This nose is sultry and tangy like Katherine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn’s love child. There’s a pretty waxy note, like that on a letter sealed with wax and opened with great trepidation with an antique brass paper knife. But otherwise I get deep and mysterious notes from the gloaming. I hold a bridal veil made of moth wings for a moonlight wedding. In the distance I hear a plaintive song blown out of giant penny whistle by a giant. We are, in short, in a whole new forest: unmapped, unmarked, and unsettling.
The mouth announces itself in languages I cannot understand. What is going on here? I want to say that there are aspects of fino sherry or port or even a wine cask finish. It’s got all sorts of gestures, but refuses to be defined by any one of them. In this way it bears only a resemblance to itself. A tautologous whiskey, I write in my notebook. Once my puzzlement subsides I can concentrate on other features. There is resin, blue pool cue chalk, a Horween leather watch strap, and a tense conversation between a druid and a cardinal (by which I mean the pretty songbird).
The finish pulls out more of the resin, as if it were turned by a machine into saltwater taffy. Except in this case it is roof tar, and while you’re waiting to apply it to the shingles, it melts into the gutters and downspouts into a delicious syrupy, nougaty goodness. The pools attract hummingbirds, zipping and darting with glee. Adding a little water to my glass opens up the nose and softens the mouth; it’s almost like it takes the dried fruits and makes them fresh once more. But it is less singular this way, and I like the expansive and explosive whiskey just at it is.
On the scale of Yogi Berra tautologies–
The Westland’s Garryana Edition 2 ⏐1 (2017) is “wherever you go, there you are”–This splendid whiskey makes you very happy to be there.
–Our thanks to Westland for the sample!