The Carsebridge 48 opens like the cedar chest holding the bridal trousseau; it’s woody, resistant to moths, and filled with lacy, racy, sensible undertones. It’s crazy powerful, like thick, spongy, flame-retardant Sequoia sempervirens bark that’s been immersed in a nice Sauternes for a long time, say three months, then carved into a thunderbird attacking a bear by a very wandering, very lost, perhaps unstuck in time, Navajo shaman. The Carsebridge is a grain whisky, meaning that it’s not made from malted barley. We speculated what it was made from, and ultimately decided—well, I decided—that it must have distilled from quadrotriticale. John got an armada of sultanas, lined up for battle, waiting for favorable wind. The Boy With the Dragon Tattoo, aka Stephen the Norsk Mann, didn’t get much, as he was counting the reindeer he was herding.
[Stephen: Bill, ‘dyr,’ pronounced ‘deer,’ just means ‘animal’ in Norwegian, so really, you’re talking about counting ‘rein,’ which is pronounced either ‘rine’ or ‘rhine’ or ‘rhein’… And Norwegians are known as ‘nordmenn’… though in my case, the proper pronunciation is ‘expat.’]
The mouth is filled with sweetness and naiveté, belying the 48 years. There’s a tincture of molasses that’s been sprinkled over Häagen-Dazs Honey Vanilla ice cream, and there’s a gilded antique frame enclosing an authentic, hitherto undiscovered Cezanne painting of a fruit bowl off-center on a rough-hewn oak table. There’s also super-thin bacon jerky, smoked over cedar.
The finish is a long log flume ride at a secret speakeasy-like waterpark, unknown to all except for the uber-cognoscenti. The ride forms a segue from the mouth to the lingering freshly-ground nutmeg that’s dusting roasted hazelnuts. It’s light, yet creamy, elfin, yet sustained like the tremolo from a whammy bar. There’s honey, oatmeal cookie dough, and the laughter of a 7-year old child spinning out of control on an ice-skating rink. The wood notes, tuba- and trombone-like, token an orotundity that has been delicately replaced with playfulness and spriteliness by a Swiss master-watchmaker, cum wizard.
On the scale of old vexillologists’ delights–
The Carsebridge 48 Year Old 2018 Special Release is the old Old Glory: the United States flag with 48 stars that flew for 47 years, from the inclusion of New Mexico and Arizona in 1912 to the addition Alaska in 1959–It represented the United States through WWI, WWII, and the stirrings of the Civil Rights movement. It flew through the Ragtime Era, Prohibition, the Repeal of Prohibition, the Great Depression, the Big Band Era, the Jazz Age, and the beginnings of Rock and Roll. Similarly, the Carsebridge 48 was casked at the end of the Beatles’ run, and also aged through extraordinary times leading up to the present day. A sip of the Carsebridge 48 is a sip of history, the streams of time flowing into you and through you as you metabolize it and become one with the drumroll of the years.
–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!