The beautiful cobalt bottle lets out a spangled stream of whiskey that I can smell right as it hits the glass. Notes of lilacs rolled up into a hay bale for later enjoyment by fancy cattle. Deeper inspection shows muted flowers and potpourri. Is there jasmine, even? Yes, though at a later stage than the lilacs, having been enjoyed the day before by a prize bull who ate it all (“fancy cattle,” op. cit). A final ride of heather honey and tarragon provide added splendor and longing.
Lest you think that the previous paragraph isn’t describing whisky, I’ll have you know that there’s a dash of bitterness on the end. It’s a bit flinty, even, like a modestly-sized man who can “handle himself,” as the expression goes, against those who are much larger. Perhaps this very same man is an apprentice alchemist trying to transmogrify lemons into butterscotch, but whose results surprise everyone since they are neither lemony nor butterscotchy. At this point, however, the unctuousness on the mouth announces itself. It’s luscious, like a nonfruity creamcicle. Herbsicle.
The finish reprises nose and mouth, turning and returning our memories this way and that, but without all of the rococo excesses of Proust. Its voice is one of humility, yes, but also of great confidence. It has said what needed to be said, and left us to consider its meaning.
On the finish, we found poutine with white gravy. Mmmmmmm. Poutine! Some cracked pepper notes, a sense of botanicals and daisy petals dried in an elm box, and an old acoustic guitar being strummed by Paul Brady. The nose flows merrily into the mouth, which smoothly and elastically elongates into the finish. There’s a virtue in, if you will, this sort of a simple complexity: One that remains true to its vision, forgoing modulation and development. In this sense, it reminds me of an astonishing cocktail made by an artisinal mixologist in a five-star hotel bar. So much there to explore! A complex set of notes that hang statically in one’s mind like the after-echo of a piano’s crescendo.
On the scale of gnomic utterances in Heraclitus-
The Waterford Dunmore 1.1 is “ὁ ἄναξ οὗ τὸ μαντεῖόν ἐστι τὸ ἐν Δελφοῖς οὔτε λέγει οὔτε κρύπτει ἀλλὰ σημαίνει” (DK B93)
[Bill: “Um, John?”]
Ahem, right! “The lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor conceals but gives a sign.” My sign, lacking Delphic provenance, might just be a pair of thumbs up.
–Our thanks to Raj Sabharwal and Glass Revolution Imports for the sample!