[Please note: Last year, Westland produced only 2,000 bottles of their Peat Week whiskey, and they were available only in Washington state. This year, Westland offers three unique sideshow-themed Peat Week commemorative bottles: Phenostrus, The Demon of the Bog; Mistress Miasma, The Vixen of Vapor, and Spinther, The Man of Fire – all of which are available nationwide.]
At the risk of damnation, I plucked feathers from an angel’s wing. But let me explain: It was the Angel of the West Lands, and it had just flown through a sherry rainstorm, and firewalked on soap lava. Most importantly, the feathers were made from applewood bacon and apple fruit leather, pressed out by a bacon iron. (This angel serves a god we would all profit from praying to.) Streakers run by me during my epiphany—or blasphemy—and they, too, are carrying Ivory Soap. I feel like I’ve been inhaling Willie Wonka’s postfruitshower postnasal drip. Peat is growing into my sinuses like negatively-curved space, and the angel is blowing the following into my soul: yellow tomatoes, oatmeal biscuits with lemon glaze, and post-frost pine needles wadded into a ball. Heavenly.
The peat and smoke I gulp in are inoffensive, like the ash separating the morning and afternoon milks used in Morbier cheese. Everything is enhanced. I now have eight senses, instead of the usual five, but lack words to describe this beyond that the Bermuda Triangle is really an octagon. Stop. I find inner unity and peace, and my spinal column undergoes a John Woo release of doves. Creamy, inviting, and balanced: An angelic milkmaid pours half-and-half directly from the teat into my coffee.
The finish is riding a two-man luge—I guess, a one man, one angel—luge down the epic dunes at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. It’s swift, it’s long, it’s gritty, hot, smooth, insane. The luge is made of coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), and I’m not ashamed to kiss it. Deeply. The angel serves me perfectly smoked pork tenderloin with a whortleberry sauce, because of course the angel does. Stephen got peat menthol firing off on the side of his tongue, but he lives in Norway now, and is not to be trusted. The mouthfeel is pulled into the back palate, but not so far as the epiglottis. More resin than molasses, less wine than boysenberry syrup: this is made only with the intercession of angels.
On the scale of songs sung by a songstress whose name is a liquid comestible–
The Westland’s 4th Annual Peat Week Single Malt Whiskey is Juice Newton’s Angel of the Morning. Would I drink the Westland’s Peat Week in the morning? Yes, I would. Would I drink it with breakfast or even before breakfast? I’ll let the better angel of my nature answer. (Be quiet, John!) Whispering…
–Our thanks to Westland Distillery for the sample!