Ah, there it is. That delicious Islay nose. Scrumptious. And then the memories flood in. But in this case, instead of a crumbled madeleine, this is a Claymore mine stuffed with Bosna sandwiches that spray out with blasted-up clods of peat. In my disorientation, I think I see a wolverine covered in day-spa facial mud leaping into a slightly slimy green pond. But now it’s all a kaleidoscope of smells. S’mores with no chocolate, the marshmallow rippled with carbonized sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Then there are hints of fruit–just like kids peeking out from behind a door frame when unfamiliar company arrives for dinner. Look, there’s fresh apricot! Do I see ripe pear? And is that a cluster of bright green grapes? What a meal this will be!
The mouth so captivates us that we make a forensic turn. Is this a funky ass Ardbeg? Perhaps. But we’re thinking an Ardbeg aged in casks holding Shakey’s Pizza. There’s something punky in there that makes me think Laphroaig, but without the brininess and maritime dimensions. Or so we think at the time. But whatever the provenance, we are enjoying this. Imagine a heavy stone covered in moss, put into a kiln for drying, and then used to fire a sauna. There is a great earthiness on the mouth that we love, plus some high register stuff too, like Heraclitean flames sparking Zeus’ cigar, if that cigar had been rolled in flower petals and blood orange peels.
At risk of a mundane reference, I want to call this a real yum fest. [Bill: It’s cute that John thinks, after all this time, that there are such “risks” as these.] [Stephen: It really is.] We love that Islay note running continuously through the dram like a Chinese dragon puppet so long you cannot see the end of it. It is a lovely peaty heaven, making me wonder: am I descended from peat? Is this why it calls out to me in such a way? As I ponder this, the finish tapers and then inverts into the mouth. Is this not a gustatory Mobius strip tease, with clothes that are removed and put back on in more or less the same motion?
On the scale of Salzburg street foods–
The Aerolite Lyndsay is the Bosna sandwich–Oh, you might think that this is just an Austrian hot dog, but you underestimate at your peril. Because with the delicious Bratwurst, spicy mustard, and curry spices, this has heft and moxie. A yum fest.