There comes a point in every person’s life where they have something that deserves special celebration. For me, it was coming back from my tour in Iraq with the US Army. Being a fan of single malt Scotch whisky, I decided that something special should be in order. I have had Glenlivet 12, Glenfiddich 12, and an evening with MacAllan 18, but well celebrating the end of a war and coming home safely from it needs something with an extra touch of class. So I had my dear ol’ ma pick me up a bottle of one of Glenfiddich’s finest, their 30 year Single Malt.
The case itself is an interesting experience. It is a wood and leather box that makes sure that your single malt will be safe while it waits to be savored. The wood work is amazing, with the distillery’s name and location cut into the front just below a lovely brass emblem and black scrolling pattern. The hinges and corners of the box are brass as well. Inside, you are greeted with leather that offers a lovely smell as you open the case. The door houses a leather-bound booklet about the bottle as well as the history of the distillery. One of the pages is stamped with the year it was distilled, which in my bottle’s case is 1961. This gives you an extra appreciation of the time it spent getting to you and the journey it made from the Scottish Highlands. The bottle itself is supported with a block at the top that keeps it immobile in the case and another at the bottom that is formed to the bottom of the bottle to cradle it like a mother would protect her baby.
Opening up the seal and pulling the cork stopper is a magical experience. A faint whiff of the cork…or the smell of it from across the room or the house for that matter…is a beautiful floral and oak scent. It is almost enough to make you hesitate to actually pour yourself a glass. Are you worthy? Is anyone worthy enough for this?
After the internal struggle to decide that yes, you are worthy of this single malt, the rich amber of the whisky is an amazing sight. Nosing it will make you want to just savor the smell for a few minutes. Go ahead, embrace it. The first sip is full of oak and figs, transitions to chocolate, and subtly adds just a bit of honey as it goes down. Zero burn, zero pain, all magic. Just sit back and slowly sip it while letting the flavors caress your mouth like a gentle lover.
Now for the downside…this whisky is not cheap. A bottle will run you about $400 American, maybe why the clerk at the local liquor store said it had been there the entire time she had worked there. Unless you are a doctor, sell Porsche or Mercedes sports cars on a regular basis, or are otherwise well off then it may be something that will be a once in a lifetime experience. It will leave you wanting more. It might make you aspire for a new, more affluent career. You may be compelled to start trading antiques for profit. You might write a best selling novel. It might bring out the best in you. Can you handle for that sort of power that you could find within yourself?
That said, give it a try. You might find new perspective in life. Your friends will probably hug you for sharing it with them, and not because they are drunk.