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20151105_184707Bedtime was swiftly approaching. I’d urged with a usual sternness that the children get moving and gather up all their things and put them in their proper places.

Evelyn, my six-year-old, began stretching and reaching out into multiple directions, grasping at nothing as though it were something, pulling and gathering things close that none of us could see.

Intrigued, I asked, “What are you doing, Evelyn?”

“My tummy doesn’t feel so good. I’m gathering up all my farts to take them with me.”

Only a few paces away, waving her hand and chiding with disgust, Madeline added, “You missed some over here, that’s for sure.”

“Would you get them for me, Maddy?” Evelyn asked with a curious solemnity. “My arms are full,” she pressed and then skipped off to her bedroom.

I didn’t say a word. I was stunned. I was frozen in the moment, only watching and listening with incredulity as Madeline replied with equal seriousness, “Sure.” And then just as Evelyn, she reached into the nothingness to collect her sister’s invisible things for storing away in their proper places.

You’ve got to be kidding me. And then I smelled that Maddy had missed some, too. Covering my mouth and nose, I muffled a yell for both girls to put the others away and come back for the rest before they got away.

This reminded me of the response I sometimes get from my wife when I open up one of my smokier whiskies. She can tell where it’s been because it leaves a footprint of sorts, a gatherable aura wherever it has been carried. She doesn’t like this at all, and it isn’t beyond her to mandate that I take the whisky to another room and then “come back and get its stench.” After watching my daughters, I think that it may be possible to fulfill my wife’s directive. I’ll just need to ask the girls how to do it properly.

This was the scene when I opened the Smokehead. I opened the gate and almost immediately came the gliding of smoke and freshly cut grass. I liked it, but I think Jennifer was offended. That’s a good thing. It means that this finely laced smoke maiden would be all mine.

But the nosing isn’t everything.

Having retreated to another chamber, I sipped and savored with glee. There’s no age statement on this particular edition, but its toddlerhood is more than evident in the initial harshness that meets you in the first mouthful. I’ll admit, though, that the palate continued the outdoorsy sensations, except this time an earthy summer humidity was added to the freshly cut grass. The weight fastened itself to my tongue and compelled me to consider starting an autumn bonfire in the backyard. Too bad it was almost 10:30 p.m. and the morrow was beckoning.

“Not what I expected,” I thought.

The medium finish brought along an agreeability that was on its way to stellar – on its way, but not yet arrived. Nevertheless, I was drawn to pour another dram almost immediately in order to give it a chance to get there. And so I did. But sadly, it did not. It remained an adolescent still hoping to mature to fuller individualities.

In all, for its suspected youth, the Smokehead isn’t all that bad. I’m sure that once the distillers figure out what else is needed, it will get better. But I suppose the bigger dilemma is figuring out where exactly in my daughter’s bedroom they are storing Evelyn’s farts. Knowing the sensitivity of both of these tender damsels, it is most probable that they are opening their bedroom window and setting them free.

Having been there to smell the ruinous vapors, for that I am thankful.