By C.A. Keith
Red silk dress, slit to the thigh. Her legs long and toned. A diamond pendant hung delicately against her plunging neckline. Sarah strolled in like a Roger Rabbit’s 40’s femme fatale. Her perfume lingered teasingly and was followed by the few that put their drinks down and tipped their nose to follow her. This wasn’t any ordinary bar. She was there, mysteriously and anonymously to sip their finest Whisky.
“Hey there, darling. Give me your best,” she said with a wink.
He placed a crystal glass in front of the lady in red. “Maker’s Mark. Small batch made in Loretto, Kentucky. It was introduced in’59. What do you think? I know you’re a Jim Beam kinda lady Sarah but I think you’ll love this one. You know what’s interesting about Maker’s Mark? No rye, they use red winter wheat and mostly corn in their mash. I heard they age their bourbon for 6 years. A friend of mine toured their distillery last year. Do you know they rotate their barrels from upper to lower to maintain a proper even temperature in their batches? Typical batch is about a thousand gallons, approximately twenty barrels. Interesting, right?”
While maintaining eye contact across the granite counter top, her wrist rotated the glass. The light amber liquid swirled around playfully. Sarah parted her lips and tipped her nose towards the glass. She let her lungs fill with its sweet aroma. Her mind danced as Sarah tried to decipher each smell. Her heartbeat quickened as she anticipated the tastes that would magically dart from her taste buds.
Sarah swirled her glass. Her lips touched the glass, taking in a big mouthful of the liquid. She chewed and sloshed the liquid throughout her mouth. It looked as if she was chewing a mouthful of food. Her eyes raised up as if in deep thought. She placed the glass down and swallowed. After a minute, she tipped a few drops of her distilled water into her bourbon, to the dismay of those around her. She knew it would bring out more of the sweet nectars.
And there it was! What she had hoped for. That greatly anticipated long finish ‘Kentucky Hug.’ It was that warmth felt deep in the chest not the harsh burn one would feel if they chugged a Whisky without the true enjoyment and appreciation of a fine Whisky.
Sarah smiled. “Nice!” She winked.
While she had to admit she wasn’t a professional taster but she had years of experience drinking with friends. It wasn’t until she went to a distillery that she enjoyed her Whisky more. They taught her a couple of tricks as to how to savour her drinks rather than miss each bottles unique splendour.
“As you know, everyone’s taste buds are different. Our culture and environment shapes our perceptions of tastes and smells. At first whiff, I get a fresh green oak. New growth you know what I mean.” He didn’t really, he was a rye and coke kinda guy, but she continued. “It’s sweet, crispness tingles the front of my tongue. It is followed by a spice like that of black pepper. As I swallowed, the sweetness lingered. It was a splendid long finish. I tasted a butterscotch, maple syrup blend. That was delightful. Once I added the water, the sweetness jumped right out. Vanilla butterscotch syrup…if that was a candy, I’d be in paradise. Well, I feel bad for saying this love, but…” Sarah hesitated then leaned forward and whispered, “I think it is one of my new personal favourites.”
“Ok honey. That’s great. I know you love to try new Whisky’s but do you have to go through this process every time.”
“How else would one sip a fine Whisky?” Sarah questioned.
“I know it’s been a long day at work, the dishes are done, our kids are tucked in bed…Well, that’s why I married you love. You take enjoyment in everything.”
“A great Whisky is meant to be savoured and explored. Each taste bud tantalized by each unique flavour. Life is great honey.”
Sarah smiled. So she was sitting at her kitchen island. She bought a new bottle of bourbon for her collection. In her minds eye, she was sitting in a fine bourbon lounge with the best of them.