Inside the Bottle: Something to Make Me Smile
There are times when you just need to fall into a memory… fall into a feeling. In doing that the “arms” of that moment are holding you tight, and there is almost a sense of reassurance. I think we all need a little reassurance from time to time.
When I feel like that, I reach the point where I just settle into moments that feed my spirit. Feed my soul. Feed me. I tend to reach for something that soothes my soul and brings that knowing smile back to my lips during these times.
These bottles that I have, as I might have hinted at previously, they were all bought for a reason. The whisky that I had a dram of while “thinking” was one I bought from an auction, yes I probably paid a little more than I should have, and yes I probably shouldn’t have opened it as soon. But I did.
I think I had always wanted to own an XOP bottling from Douglas Laing, there is something about the presentation of the bottles, the wooden box, the label, the special something that lies Inside the Bottle. I’d read a blog about a 25 year old Aultmore, cask 11066, it was distilled in February 1990, and bottled in February 2016 at 54.4%.
This little beauty had spent its life in a Sherry Butt. Thankfully I managed to buy a sample online… I had an “oh…” moment when I opened it. The colour in that sample was so rich, it felt like it was saying “go on, open me up, take me…” just beckoning me. It had captured my heart… and after sampling it, the hunt was on. I had to find a bottle.
After a few months, I did indeed find a bottle…time to smile. It was mine. All mine. The day I opened it, well I took my time. There is nothing more satisfying than building anticipation…slowly breaking the seal, removing the stopper, “plop”… open. Oh that aroma.
What is revealed in these whiskies can take you off in to a dream… and maybe I’m silly or just always hoping, but I do believe dreams can come true. Sometimes, just sometimes all we need is a little patience and lot of hope. I am a serial daydreamer… and I am off in one while I write this, you do know you use more muscles to frown than you do to smile, so yes, I am smiling.
Ahhh the seductive aroma of rich fruit, caramel, black cherry and berries…full bodied and inviting, like the figure of a Rubenesque woman… I am sat with some moist fruitcake made with rich brown sugar. I have the scent from the bag of sultanas as it was waiting to go in the cake mix along with some deliciously stewed fruits. There are some lovely spices. Dusty dark chocolate makes an appearance on the senses. The empty glass echoes the aroma of sitting in a cosy drawing room, old books sit on the shelves… while sat reading, enjoying the comfort of a leather chair, whisky beside me, its scent filling the air around me. Is that someone bringing me a black coffee? A slight hint of tobacco from an old cigar tin I just found on a shelf. Heaven scent…smiles in a glass.
My thoughts have drifted off as I am enjoying the moment, a crackle from the fire brings me back to the here and now, the allure of wanting to taste it is too strong “if I don’t do this now, I might never do it…”
That first taste is so full, so moreish… and I know I love a nice mouthfeel. There is a little caramel there, maybe it’s a little burnt. Delightfully dark chocolate. Sherry soaked fruit, sultanas and raisin. Black tea bitterness. Black cherries and a little black pepper. A creak of leather as I shift to get a little more comfortable. I could spend hours with this, the finish is long… those flavours remaining on my lips, and my palate, well it just leaves me wanting more.