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20150714_211511What does it mean to be an originary? I didn’t say original, I said originary. There’s a difference.

An original is the first of its kind. An originary is the cause or the source of the original. In other words, it is the compulsory producer of the original. All of the essentials rush and swirl and coagulate within its keep to become the original. What does it mean to be this?

I sometimes consider my children to be originaries. I’m sure that sounds a bit strange, but if you think about it, it really does make sense.

20150214_083711Take my son Harrison, for example. Consider his bedtime ensemble pictured here. When I asked him if he was having trouble finding matching jammies, he merely responded that he put together something original and, in his words, “It looks really good.”

Or consider my daughter Evelyn and the picture she drew on her placemat at Bob Evans. Looks great, yes? When I asked her what she’d drawn, she responded “What does it look like?”20150814_115345 1

“Maybe a jellyfish, or something like that,” I said.

“It’s not a jellyfish,” she giggled. “It’s a floating head.”

“Like, floating in water,” I said a little unnerved by her response.

“No, floating above the ground. It’s a floating head.”

“Why’d you draw a floating head?”

Crossing her arms in defense, she retorted, “Why not draw a floating head?”

My point is that most folks will sit back and observe children doing these types of things and then say with genuine admiration or cutting sarcasm something like, “That li’l Billy, there, now he’s an original for sure.” In my opinion, that’s to confuse the terms. Children far surpass the designation “original.” Children are originaries. They take just about anything – Legos, crayons, thoughts, sticker gems, and sometimes even pajamas – and they bring them together to produce one-of-a-kind originals. Ever since I realized this, I became a completely different kind of parent, a more interested one. I became someone who was less inclined to wait around for the kids to grow up and fulfill the substance of “original” and more interested in living in every single moment with them, plumbing the depths of all that they are as originaries. I realized that they have limitless reserves of lovely creativity and unending provisions of love, and if you go to them looking for it, they’ll always produce.

I think that in the case of the Glenmorangie Tùsail (which is the Gaelic for “originary”), the terms are confused again. Glenmorangie itself is the originary and the Tùsail is the original – and a wonderful original at that.

The nose of this delightful dram, the first of the originary’s divine constructions, is by far the stranger fellow. At first it was a bit harsh, but then I added a few drops of water. And while I typically drink my whiskies neat, the water caused the signature Maris Otter Barley to kick up in a plume of autumnal harvest enchantment.

Trailing nearby, the palate was coaxed up from the bosom of the originary and joined to the nose to reveal freshly baked barley bread lightly coated with a glaze made from spiced apples.

The finish was medium, although I’d say it bordered on short. The barley remained. When you try it, it will seem as though the harsh, or maybe sour, character in the nose returns, but just give it a moment. It will surprise you with a nip of something sweet, like a draft hard cider.

Overall, the Tùsail is a charming original, but it’s not an originary.

By the way, do you remember I mentioned sticker gems? That li’l Evelyn, there, now she’s an originary for sure.IMG_20150410_125945