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IMG_2771“No married man is genuinely happy if he has to drink worse whisky than he used to drink when he was single.”

H. L. Mencken said this. My wife said it, too, except she said it this way: “Who’d have thought you’d become such an expensive date?”

She can say such things because she knows me now, and yet while we were dating, it wasn’t beyond me to buy a cheap bottle of red wine and to drink it from a milk glass. Even worse, it would not have bewildered her even slightly to see me settle for a sip from a stale beer that had been opened and sitting overnight. When it came to class, in these particular areas, I am more than willing to admit that I had none. Even further, I despised whisky. I would always refuse it if offered, and I would have thought a man crazy if he, being of the same caste as myself, would have even considered “tithing” in a sense in order to purchase a bottle of any caliber above what may be found residing in a Scoresby bottle. And yet, here I am. Things are different now, and it’s because there was one critical moment when I didn’t refuse. I am, as a married man, indeed happier now than I was when I was single. Not only because my wife is so wonderful, and like a fine edition, she becomes lovelier with age, but because my whiskies (and the associate discernment) continues to spiral skyward.

The Balvenie 17-year-old Doublewood edition is a wonderful example of the upward trajectory. The nose is incredibly sweet, the bourbon and sherry cask matrimony being easily and happily received. The palate gives the same sweetness, except now The Balvenie’s honey signature is scribed, bringing what was light and fruity in the nose to a heavier, fuller serum. Exceptional! The finish, somewhat moderate with its fruit, honey, and perhaps even a little vanilla, is long enough to stir a thankfulness for the well-by-gone days of stale beer, wine in a box, and whisky ignorance.

The Balvenie 17-year-old Doublewood, it’s not cheap, but it is worth every penny the couch, the floor of my car, and the street beneath my feet could provide for my careful eye and fervent scotch whisky spirit. In fact, the pennies added up to an ability to acquire two — so I did.