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I took my son Joshua with me to the shop tonight. He’d never asked me to take him before, but tonight he did. He met Tony, the fine proprietor, and he witnessed the engaging of friends in friendly conversation.

After we left, Joshua smiled, observing how Tony came down the aisle from where he was working, leaned over the counter, and shook my hand, answering requests with words like, “Anything for you, my friend.”

I’ll admit, when we were pulling up to the store, I was a bit nervous. On the other hand, I was glad for Josh to be with me and to experience such a shop as a place of class, a place to be dutifully respected as a locale in which only reverence and responsibility are expected. And he did precisely that. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything less from the kid who goes with me to the church every single Sunday morning between 5:30 and 6:00 AM to help keep me company—a kid who loves serving as an acolyte, who goes to bed reading a hymnal or studying my extra copy of the Greek New Testament. He’s a terrific kid, and he’s growing up with a reverent wisdom that many kids his age lack. I sure do love my son, Josh.

We walked out with five bottles. The relationship with one of them had a little bit of a rocky beginning.

When I went to pull the cap of this Glenfarclas 12, the cork was so dry that it snapped free and crumbled. This was clearly a bottle that had been sitting on Tony’s shelf for a long time, somehow overlooked in the ceremony of turning long-standing bottles to moisten the cork and prevent such a disaster. Lesson learned. But maybe for you, the reader. Not for me. I always turn my bottles.

Most consumers would have called the shop and complained. Not me, not Tony. Disappointed but not unhappy, I turned the bottle upside down and counted to thirty. I grabbed a corkscrew, and like a surgeon wielding his instrument, I drilled ever so slowly into the crumbling cork. Once the tip was through, I lifted it so slowly that it probably took a full minute to do so. The cork—so delicate, so fragile—began breaking apart upon exit but mostly survived the lift-off. Only a few pieces sank to the oceanic bottom of the bottle. I had to use the cork from an empty bottle to seal it. It was Lagavulin who stepped up to provide the cap. It doesn’t quite fit, but it’ll do. And because I keep every bottle and every cork, I am a little bummed.

I managed to soothe my nerves after surgery with a little taste of this Glenfarclas 12. In all honesty, I didn’t expect much. But I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

Somewhere along the way, I’m certain I’d read another review warning me to expect a strong aroma. The nose of this edition, in my estimation, wasn’t so. It was light. There was very little strength to it. Nevertheless, I managed to sense a sherry influence.

The palate, like the nose, was light with a hint of fruit. I liken it to the typical citrus revealed in a Glenmorangie bottling.

The finish, as with the nose and palate, was light and short. But not so short that you are left disappointed. It leaves you thinking that the Glenfarclas 12 was a light and crisp and clean bottle of whisky. And at a little more than $50, even with all the trouble involved, it was worth the dip into the “Squirrel Fund.”

It was certainly worth the quality time with Josh.