The nose on Single Cask Nation’s Orkney offering, the Stones of Stenness 13 Year Old, opens like the Wings of Desire flapping, which unleashes the Lacquer of Heaven and the Lathe of Arabesques. We got a virgin/whore meets a demon/prince dynamic in which titillation and consummation tangoed for our attention. There was, more prosaically, a pair of notes that I love: boiled bacon and dry climax forest.
The rich, velvety mouth brings .22 caliber prune rounds shot out of a Tiffany vase. Kapow! So many figs, so much dark cherry, and the funk blows off like the fog from Scapa Flow on a rare sunny morning. The rich glory integrates beautifully with the peppermint Jelly Belly jelly beans, like an orchestra performing a melodious medley of Jelly Roll Morton songs.
The finish isn’t quite the Music of the Spheres, but it rises above the discursive percussive discussive Clicking of the Snooker Balls. Perhaps the Axial Wiggle or the Highland Reel of the Teetering Cabers? It’s such a fruity, bright peat pinging and zinging like it was cut from a Caribbean island rather than a bog. Waves are crashing over me, as if I were Burt Lancaster embracing Deborah Kerr on the beach in From Here to Eternity.
On the scale of older rocker + younger rocker collaborations–
The Single Cask Nation Stones of Stenness 13 Year Old, clocking in at 114.8 proof, is Carlos Santana + Rob Thomas = Smooth —In this case, it’s Orkney juice + 2nd-fill PX Sherry hogshead = glorious. Gloriously flavorful, gloriously smooth; so smooth! A mega-hit, a summer smash: What more can you want in a dram?