There is a particular doctrine in the Christian church called “eschatology” (pronounced ES-kuh-TOL-oh-jee). The word itself comes from the Greek word eschatos which means “last things.” The Christian Church is to believe that through the Gospel (in its written, preached, and visible forms) the fullness of what God offers is given to the believer right now and not yet at the exact same time. And although it may be confusing to some, perhaps the best way to summarize eschatology is to say that it is the “right now, but not yet” of God’s work in this world. A practical eschatological point: In the Lord’s Supper, we receive the very body and blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and yet the Lord’s Supper is a foretaste of the feast to come in the presence of the Lamb on the throne in heaven. In the Lord’s Supper, the recipient receives the fullness of heaven’s bounty, that is, the forgiveness of sins and eternal life right now, and yet eternal life is not fully realized until we are welcomed into heaven.
Does that make sense? I hope so, because the doctrine is not insignificant. It teaches quite simply that heaven and earth are not disconnected, but rather for the believer in Christ by the Gospel Means, the gap is bridged and the wonderful benefits are received by faith, now in time and there in eternity — right now, and not yet!
So, now that we understand eschatology, what on earth (oh yeah…and in heaven, too!) does this have to do with the Laphroaig 18 year old edition?
Well, heaven and earth came together in this bottle. It truly was an eschatological experience.
Like its little brother, the 10 year old, this particular edition was (as a good friend put it) heady. The nose was rich with smoky peat, offering a generous wafting of (in my opinion) one of Scotland’s most pleasant and elemental scents. The palate offered a swiftly approaching although still distant sense of honey, as though someone were fanning the smoke with a honeycomb. The finish was oily and full, but not burdensome, rather drawing you in for more by not letting you forget that you just spent a moment at the door of heaven and earth’s sturdy, oaky intersection.
I have never been a big fan of these types of heavier, smokier single malts, but I must admit, that it is a new favorite. When I die and one of my loved ones who has gone before me in the faith gives me my first tour of heaven and we pass by the Lord’s whisky shelves, I’m pretty sure I’ll see this bottle being prominently displayed — and never-endingly half full.