2016 Whisky Wind-down, 7: Pleasant Surprises

Today’s dram: Bowmore, 12-Year-Old

Today’s tasting notes: The aroma is captivating — you opened open a jar of honey minutes after lighting the fireplace. Someone nearby sliced a lemon. 

On the tongue it is soft and mellow. Swallow it, though, and feel a gentle burn, with a kiss of smoke as it fades away. 

This is an Islay whisky, but it is unlike other Islay whiskies I have known. 

I am mostly familiar with the big peaty, smoky works of Laphroaig and Ardbeg. 

If that whisky is a dragon that grabs you by the throat, Bowmore is a dragon that seduces you first. 

Today’s thoughts: This one was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law, and oh, was I delighted to find it addressed to me. The magic of Christmas may be mostly reserved for children, but now and then a glimmer lands even on a sot like me.  

As my five-year-old nephew ran from sparkling toy to joyful book to holiday sweet, I could just sit back, smiling. He’d wear out eventually, then the adults could settle and sip. 

Today’s note, as an observing uncle: Did I ever have that much energy, even in my single-digit ages? I think not. 

Today’s toast: To families everywhere: Happy holidays, whatever yours may be. 

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