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When my wife and I go out for dinner and the waiter or waitress steps forth to invite drink requests, I always resist the temptation to order a Scotch. I may ask to see the liquor selections, and I may even walk over to the bar to scan the horizon’s offerings, but rarely do I place the order.

It is this way for a couple of reasons.

First, we’re not much for restaurant going. This is primarily true because we have four children and that fact alone is both cost and noise prohibitive–but mainly we are penny-pinchers and we do the best we can to make every dollar count. Second, the restaurants in my area are the typical ones–Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, and the like. With chain restaurants like these, the whisky selection, namely the Scotch selection, is always predictably shallow and incredibly overpriced. You can be assured that a “two finger” dram from one of the bottles considered as “the better stuff” (which is usually Glenlivet 12 or Johnny Walker) will be somewhere around $12 to $15. At this, my wife becomes the prohibitive element in the dinner date, reminding me that at $15, I am 1/3 of the way to buying the whole bottle. Sad but true.

But this raises a question… Is there really anything out there for which you would willingly pay a lot knowing you would only get a little? I’d have to say yes.

For example, I loved the movie “The Avengers.” Great flick. I saw it three times in the movie theater and I bought the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack at Walmart for $24. And in the end, there’s really only one little scene that makes the whole movie for me. I loved the scene where Thor lands atop the transport plane carrying Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s helicarrier. Captain America is on board guarding Loki alongside Tony Starke decked in full Iron Man gear. Thor rushes in, grabs Loki, and flies out of the transport intending to bring him to justice alone. Iron Man jets after them leaving the flightless Captain America behind. He looks around for a parachute saying he’s going after them when Black Widow (flying the transport) says that he should just sit this one out because essentially these guys were gods. Without missing a beat, Captain America responds, “Ma’am, there’s only one God. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.” And then he jumps out of the transport and wins the scene.

How cool was that?! Made the whole movie for me. (Of course there is the scene near the end of the movie where the Hulk so brutally pummels Loki just after he begins to rant that everyone is beneath him, that he is a god and will not tolerate such lowly creatures bullying him. As the Hulk is lumbering away from a pulverized Loki, he growls “Puny god.” That scene is icing on what was already for me a Christological cake.) So, yes, there are some things that I’d pay a lot for knowing I’d only get a smidgen.

I believe that perhaps The Balvenie 21 Portwood rests in this category as well. At about $180 a bottle, you can imagine what a two-finger dram would cost in a restaurant–$20 to $30 at least. And yet, if I am out on a date with my beautiful wife, no kids, no cares, no pressing concerns, as the waiter or waitress is iterating the Scotch list, if I should hear that The Balvenie 21 is available, I’d order it. I’d pay a lot for a little.

The nose carries a sensual hint of fruitiness, one that is perfectly appropriate for dinner with a classy woman. I can only imagine the wonderful olfactory delight that would be concocted as both the scent of the Scotch and the scent of my wife’s perfume begin to mix. Wonderful. Heavenly. The palate is delightfully full, offering a hint of raisins and an ever-so-gentle undertone of chocolate. The finish is substantial in that it seems to carry away the warmth while leaving behind a slightly honeyed nuttiness. Exquisite. Worth every penny.

It’s been a while since we’ve been to Applebee’s. Perhaps we’ll go and I’ll ask directly if they have The Balvenie. And if I should hear, “No, we don’t have Balvenie, but we do have a Johnny Walker Red blended Scotch that’s just as good,” I shall immediately interrupt and say, “Ma’am, there’s only one Balvenie 21 Portwood and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t dress like Johnny Walker.”