12 years old, 1938, 40%, beaver, blended scotch whisky, buchanan's, chip gaines, deluxe, fixer upper, ground hog, joanna gaines, lutheran, pennsylvania, punxsutawney phil, reality tv, review, scotch, texas, thoma, Whiskey, whisky
“Why’s that, honey?” I asked already assuming that her answer had something to do with Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of “Fixer Upper,” which is a favorite reality TV show that she likes to watch with her mother and sister.
“Because Chip and Joanna live there.”
I was right. But then she tossed a curve ball.
“And because that’s where the beaver lives.”
“Which beaver is that, Evelyn?” I enquired now somewhat puzzled.
“You know,” she continued, “the one that when he sees his shadow, it stops snowing.”
This girl is all sorts of confused. Go ahead and laugh. I did, quietly, of course.
“Honey,” I said carefully, “I think you mean Punxsutawney Phil, and he’s a ground hog.”
“He is?” she said clearly shocked by the revelation.
“And he doesn’t live in Texas,” I added. “He lives in Pennsylvania.”
A moment of silence passed.
“Do they have beavers in Texas?” she probed.
“I can’t say for sure,” I said, “but I’ll bet they probably do.”
“Well, I still want to live in Texas. I like beavers.”
“Me, too, honey.”
Evelyn knows what she likes. She may not know all of the peripheral details surrounding what she likes, but no matter. She has a point of origin and that is important. The road of discovery is ever open before her for unearthing the rest.
I know what I like. I like whisky. As it is right now for my six-year-old daughter and particular semiaquatic rodents, it remains for me with the aqua vitae. I am always discovering something new – something I didn’t know before, a distillery or edition that I failed to detect, a process that I somehow missed, a flavor I’ve never experienced. It is a busy byway, one full of intrigue.
The Buchanan’s DeLuxe 12-year-old is the culmination of such a moment.
Even though I have an unopened special release of this whisky bottled in 1938, and trust me, I am always resisting the urge to open it, often it is that I’ve passed over its grandchild edition on the shelves of my favorite shops, and not because I didn’t want to try it, but rather because, in a sense, I guess it never really reached for me. Today it did, and now I am a little further along the byway.
The nose of this edition is pleasant enough, but also somewhat prickly. There is the sense of tequila-soaked lemon peels mingled with strawberries lightly dusted with powdered sugar.
On the tongue, there’s a tinge of peat, but it is indeed as nothing beside the spiked chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and wood spice medley.
The finish is long, and if you were to a degree disappointed by the palate’s minimal plume, your sadness is suddenly found consoled by a peppery smoke. Again it is ghostly transparent, but this time it takes the helm and leaves the others to fade.
Now that I’ve finally tried this stuff, I wonder what the 1938 edition is like. I’m tempted. Oh, so tempted.
How about this? I’ll make a special trip down to Waco, Texas to visit that infamous beaver, Waco Will, and if he sees his shadow, I’ll open it and then report back to you. If he doesn’t, then that means I’ll go and buy another grandchild bottle. Either way, I figure I’ll have something to help with the never-ending winter that the Pennsylvania rat named Phil seems to have misdiagnosed.