My daughter Evelyn is forbidden from catching frogs near our pond. Additionally, she is forbidden from holding the frogs that the other three children catch. This is so because in the past, a good number of the vaulting amphibians in her keep have so strangely ended up deceased.
Now, don’t go thinking she has an extra Y chromosome predetermining her as a serial killer. We know why it happens. She’s an inquisitive five-year-old who is also very girly, and so when she catches a frog, she is overcome with two conflicting emotions. The first is the excitement that she actually caught the elusive creature which took every ounce of focused coordination she could muster. The second is the realization that while she succeeded in catching the frog, ultimately she thinks they are gross and has a fear of touching them. These two emotions blend to become a lack of confidence in her grip which sees the trophy leaping from her hands and her stepping on it in a surprised and frantic half “chase” and half “ooh, gross” tragedy.
The whole family has agreed to the “no frogs for Evelyn” decree. Evelyn protests it, of course. She so desperately desires to be friends with every frog in the pond even though she has an unfortunate history of murdering a good percentage of them by accident.
And yet, it was only a few days ago that her sister and best friend, Madeline, forsook the mandate. I was on the deck working on a sermon when I heard Evelyn’s little voice call out from the back yard, “Daddy! Daddy!”
“Yeah, honey, what is it?”
“Madeline is letting me hold her frog and I’m not even making it die!”
Considering all of this as it relates to the Gaelic nomenclature ascribed to the edition of Glenmorangie before us – Companta, which means “friendship” – I sure was hoping that the elixir would be representative of the friendship between Evelyn and her sister and not Evelyn and her frog.
It turned out to be the former, thankfully.
I say “thankfully” because I was a little concerned at first that I may be in for a disappointment. At the outset, the whisky’s friendliness was a bit suspect. The nosing wasn’t as occupied as I expected, especially knowing that this particular edition was finished in Clos de Tart Burgundy casks. I don’t know much about wine, but I do know that Burgundy wine is discerned and judged by its precise origin, type, and producer within the Burgundy region of France. The Clos de Tart is no shabby sub-region, being known and received as influential for its Pinot noir grapes. Perhaps overzealous, I expected a little more than what I received.
The palate was exceptional, however, toward calming my fears. The vine fruits made themselves known in an instant, even bringing along a bit of chocolate and the Glenmorangie’s signature citrus – although somewhat syrupy this time around, but still very good. The breadth of the palate kept on for a longer finish, which is a good thing because the chocolate I sensed seemed to become a bit chalky in the swallow. When that happens, it’s good to have a potent distraction in the mix.
Overall, I’d say that the Companta lives up to its designation as a fine gesture of amity to the whisky world. Or perhaps in another light – if this edition ends up in your stash as a gift from someone considering himself to be a friend, I would account this person’s kindness and concern in the manner as that of Evelyn to her sister and not Evelyn to her frog. In other words, this is surely a friendship that will see long life and many days of happiness as opposed to one that will most likely find itself squashed.