There’s a little Chinese restaurant that I pass every day on my way to and from my efforts of the day. It sits back from the road as part of a strip mall type gathering of shops. As far as size, it is an unimposing storefront, and yet when the evening pall is laid upon the landscape, in comparison to the other storefronts, its beaming halogen glow and conspicuous neon signs compete with the fullest of a waxing moon. You can’t miss it…and you can see everything going on inside.
I get home late more often than not. By late, I mean between 9 and 10 p.m. As I drive by the little Chinese restaurant, I expect to see something that bothers me… and it’s not the blinding lights. The storeowners have three very young children, and no matter when I drive by (except during school hours), even at 10 p.m., the little ones are always in the restaurant. Sometimes they are sitting at a little table near the door. Sometimes they are wrestling on the floor. Sometimes they are in full sprint mode, running in circles because there truly isn’t enough room in the tiny restaurant to run in a straight line. Even from the road, you can see that these kids are cooped up and are ready to pop.
And lest you think that I am speaking from only a distant observatory, I retrieved our dinner from the little restaurant just this past Saturday evening, and while I waited for the food to be prepared, I had to excuse myself from the place and retreat to the curb outside. The youngest girl, maybe 5 or 6 years old, well, she was screaming at the two older boys in Chinese. The two boys, maybe 8 and 11, well, they were busy kicking over chairs and throwing her “My Little Pony” crap around like they were strafing an approaching enemy. I finally departed when one of them landed on the table behind me, and mind you, I was on the other side of the room. The teenager behind the counter just looked at them, and every now and then answering a phone, would put one finger in her free ear in order to hear. It was truly unbearable.
This is where these kids live — at one tiny table in the corner of a room that can only hold five tables. The table holds a couple of books, a little bin of toys, and is guarded by a giant glass window that serves more like the walls of a fishbowl than a restaurant.
I tell you this because it serves to describe the Scapa 14 year old edition. If you’ve read my review of the Scapa 16, then you’ll know that I didn’t like it all that much. It needed something else. It was cooped up, boring, no big deal. It needed to be set free. I think that the Scapa 16 was representative of these kids. However, the 14 year old edition, although younger, is the result of the Scapa distillery doing something to fix the problem. They did something, I don’t know what, but whatever it was, it set the whisky free.
The nose intimates a calming meeting. If I had to guess (which I do because that’s why I’m writing this review), I’d say the spoor is that of a calming bath, warmed with sea salt and a tinge of something floral. The palate is an easy recline in the bathwater, giving an indulgent share of those sweetened tree nuts you get in the gift baskets at Christmastime. But there’s more. In the steamy calm, your mouth is treated to a friendly bit of carmeled citrus. The finish is a little too swift. But I noticed that, strangely, a little water added to the whisky gives it a little longevity as opposed to assisting in the departure. Give it a try. The water will open up the sugar and add a kiss of peat smolder. Very nice.
I guess that in conclusion, as it was for Scapa, so it will be for the parents of these children. They need to do something. I don’t know what because I don’t know the details of the situation fully. But I can say that if they don’t do something soon, not only will the reputation of the restaurant be scarred (as was almost the case for Scapa via Angelsportion.com), but the potential for greatness may become a dysfunctional edition that is avoided rather than enjoyed.