There is the indelible moment in the Indiana Jones movie franchise when the hero is welcomed to the Guardian of Tradition Dinner at Pankot Palace. The multi-course meal includes beetles, eel-stuffed snakes, monkey brains, and more. I am reminded of this scene because the nose of this Balvenie perfectly captures the entrée that appears only the Criterion edition director’s cut: platters of beaver tail plank salmon steaks, dressed with poached beaver casters. You see, this is a righteous peat, nay, a sanctifying peat, like brand-new, ethically-sourced, fair-trade, carbon-neutral tires on the 7-year-old Greta Thunberg’s bicycle. The pedals turn the gear hub, propelling the incipient heroine over flowers, sedge, honeycomb, and tart crumbles.
The mouth is big and powerful. I keep waiting for arms to appear on the bottle like Aunt Jemima syrup, and then for the hands to reach up and pull the label aside to reveal the big Superman S in bright colors. There’s nothing in the understated, Clark Kent label to suggest the powers that reside within. Still, it’s a restrained power, like when the categorical imperative calmly tests the maxim and impulse is put in check. Lemon hammers swung by Piltdown Men pound toffee rivets along the ambrosial railway.
The finish hangs in there with the brightness of M&Ms coated with Fabergé candy shells. Here, more of the mouth begins to come into focus. The rich flowery note I missed before how hangs on like the note played by the principal clarinetist who failed to see the conductor’s cut off. Is it chrysanthemum or hydrangea? I strain to determine this when, just when we thought it was over, we get the rare finish-after-the-finish, like a whisky counterpart to a Marvel superhero film with a brief, post-credit scene. In this one, steam-engine smoke from our ambrosial train condenses on cool lemons, which glisten like the resplendent feathers of a dancing bird.
On the scale of Marvel Comic Universe Easter Eggs—
The Balvenie The Week of Peat 14 Year Old is the moment in Spiderman: Homecoming when Bruce Banner’s photograph is shown on a wall of famous scientists in a high school classroom. The mild-mannered genius here belies the amazing strength underneath.
–Our thanks to Balvenie for the sample!