The nose of the Bib & Tucker 12 Year Old Single Barrel Select Bourbon Whiskey whirls around my upper sinus region like a hand-carved and painted merry-go-round twirling merrily around a maypole of rye. The rye maypole, anthropomorphized by Stephen, has a menthol cigarette habit—a strange choice for such a bad-ass maypole. I thought rather that there were a colony of koalas (mammals with no collective noun!), munching away at eucalyptus leaves while on the ride. They’re accompanied by lozenge sucking children and caramel munching and sucking adults. Teenagers? Not to be found. There are also candied root vegetables, especially parsnips, and a green pepper that got lost from the farmer’s market. Finally, shoe soles made from a six-ply layering of velour and velvet, crushed together by an old oaken cider press. (John wanted to tie a yellow ribbon ‘round that old oaken press, but we wouldn’t let him.)
The mouth positively explodes, big flames of spices, sugar, almond shells, cordovan leather, and a tart boiled ham pierced irregularly by cloves. On the spice front, we got cumin, a touch of paprika, and Mel C. (Sorry!) John got an ozone note that was squealing like a pig, and we wondered whether he’d been Zooming for too many hours.
The finish led me to start singing, to the sadness of Stephen and John, “My bour-bonnie lies over the ocean, my bour-bonnie lies over the sea, my bour-bonnie lies over the ocean, etc.” It filled me with pecan pie finished with vanilla-infused whipped cream, from cows that wagyu-like were fed the finest grasses and the tastiest bourbons. There’s a minty black peppery fireman’s pole that sticks around, and if it—anthropomorphized—were given a chance, it would use its mutant superpower to desiccate the center field of my baseball diamond tongue. Does this make sense? No. Should it make sense? No. Wait, who are you, who is making these editorial semantic choices? I am that I am, and it is what it is.
On the scale of surreal cartoon series–
The Bib and Tucker 12 Year Old Single Barrel Select Bourbon Whiskey is Tuca & Bertie–The voice talent stars are Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish, so you know it’s bigger than life. And surreal? Well, yes, very much so! Bold, brash? Yes, yes!
–Our thanks to Bib & Tucker (and Chandni Patel of R\West) for the sample!