Friday, February 22, 2013

The Virginia Highland Malt Whisky (750 ml of oenophobia cure)

Tasting notes:
     It's clear from the start that the Virginia Highland Malt Whisky, a Highland Scotch whisky further matured in Virginia port-style wine barrels, evades easy categorization.  Upon closer examination--and just a little of it, in fact--one realizes that this dram is actually a category-buster.  Or maybe category-obliterator.  Or category-confuser.  To the point that it induced in me a nearly complete synaesthesic experience.  I say a "nearly complete" synaesthesia because once one begins experiencing smells and flavors as tactile sensations, it's hard to say exactly where the lines are being drawn.  And maybe that's the point:  On the nose, it's like reading the case file of a guy with multiple personality disorder (and all his personalities are interesting, attractive, and cool dudes)--in Braille, of course.  And fishing the lone whole apple out of the cider punch bowl in a Turkish harem.  And digging through the fluffy shoes in a remote corner of Zsa Zsa Gabor's back-up walk-in closet, only to stumble upon her candy corn stash.  The mouth is a rather different (tactile) sensation:  being on the inside of the washing machine that uses Kirsch as detergent to scrub the pointy edges off of a Calvados.  Or maybe being on the inside of a concrete mortar when the pestle hits to grind whole cumin seeds into powder.  And then tarragon.  And then rubbing my fingers across the bubbly surface of a Denver omelette in Poughkeepsie.  The finish stretches out with all of the spicy electricity of a flirtation so skillfully interjected into a conversation that it sits there between the two of you to be savored like a pot full of beer-cheese fondue.  But it gets better the longer it goes, like a rough draft persistently edited by E. B. White and John Updike--again, in Braille.  The finish is a summer day that fades and lingers.  It's a kitten slowly pulling his tail through your fingers as he tries to get away so he can curl up where your butt just was on the sofa.


--On the scale of sensations that transcend their typical (single) sensory boundaries--
The Virginia Highland Malt Whisky is rubbing a tobacco leaf between your fingers and getting a nicotine high--For some, it's justification for a career choice.  For others, it's a little bonus for otherwise arduous labor.  For yet others, it's a cheap alternative to transdermal patches.  It may not be as unequivocally recommendable as the runner's high, but then again, what is?


--Our thanks to Patricia Jones and the Virginia Distillery Company for the sample!  


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