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This whisky has been an incredible distraction for well over a year. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not referring to it as such in the negative sense. There can be good as well as bad distractions. Allow me to elaborate.

Perhaps to illustrate a “good” distraction, I might portray a discussion unfolding between two men, and as the discourse becomes full, a beautiful woman walks into the room and the one speaking begins to stumble over his words because he loses concentration. I must admit, however, that this is not fitting for me. I am married to an incredibly beautiful woman and she walks into the room all the time. Pretty girls are not a distraction for me. I think a better illustration would be to say that as my busy life (as it is for others) sometimes has the posture of droning forward with all-consuming duty after duty, on occasion an early morning sunrise beckons for me to pause, take a breath, and enjoy the uplands coming into view. Take the sun’s hand and visit with her for a moment. That is a “good” distraction.

A bad distraction would be as it was a few days ago in my office. It was the immediate after-school hour and my son Harrison was taking what you would assume to be a restful “sit-down” moment in my office bathroom which is only a few steps from my desk. He’s six years old and has yet to comprehend the fuller potential and benefit of privacy, so the door was slightly open. I was on the phone speaking with a recent visitor to the church when in the background I heard the little boy grunting toward accomplishing something great all the while encouraging himself, “C’mon. You can do it…” Needless to say, I had a very hard time concentrating — I mean, I was talking about the significance of our historic, liturgical worship style while at the same time thinking I need to stop by the local grocer and pick up some prunes. Poor kid. That was a bad distraction.

The Balvenie SherryOak edition is the former and not the latter. She had been sitting right next to a twin bottle in my “investment” stash for a few years. Every time I went to turn bottles, she would smile up at me and say, “Wait a second, Chris… Take me with you. Let’s visit together.” She’d asked so many times, prodding so gently that I would consider time with her. I could no longer resist, and it was for a restful benefit.

The nose of The Balvenie SherryOak rises full and bright like a morning sunrise carrying the rich scent of sherry wine in her rays and sprinkling the earth below with spicy dew.

The palate delivers on the promise of that glorious sunrise. The early hours of the new day render sweet and ripened fruit gently etched with the traditional honey signature penned upon most if not all of The Balvenie whisky editions.

The finish is incredibly gentle, running its course toward sundown in swift fashion, leaving a pleasant memory of caramel and fruit shared at ease with a good friend.

And this distraction, this visitation, ended as God has intended for friends who have grown close.

“Will I see you again?” she asked.

“Yes, tomorrow. And thank you for today.”