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20160224_205849-1I want braces on my teeth. I don’t exactly need them, but I want them.

I don’t need them because I already had them when I was a kid – twice, in fact. Still, I want them because I truly enjoy visiting my children’s orthodontist, Dr. Susan Abed, and I know that when the last and littlest of my four snaggletooth younglings has had her final appointment, I’ll be turning the finishing page of a chapter in my family’s life and I’ll have less opportunity for regular visitation with someone I’ve come to admire.

I’d say I have a good number of friends, my wife, of course, being the chieftain of them all. She is, as Aristotle described, one half of a single soul that resides in two bodies. And yet from among all the others, I know of only a few that I’d count as never being overindulgent or taxing with my time. Dr. Abed is one of those friends.

It’s not a friendship in the sense that we meet regularly for coffee or play racquetball every other Tuesday. My life, which observes entire seasons much in the same way that you observe days of the week, would never afford such luxuries. And if it did, my wife would be the first in line for my time. Still, my friendship with Dr. Abed is one that sees us taking time to catch up each time we are together, no matter how crowded her office might be and no matter how little time I may have.

I should also mention that not long after my book The Angels’ Portion first came out, she bought a hundred copies to give to her staff, family, and friends – and she really doesn’t even like whisky. Well, let me rephrase that. She’s not its greatest fan, but she has confessed to ordering up a dram in a restaurant, revealing a willingness born of trust in the words of her Reverend friend that he might help her find the right edition.

Good Lady Abed, it may just be that I have discovered it.

After a long day of clipping wires, inserting spacers, adjusting retainers, wafting away a common redolence of less-than-regularly brushed children’s mouths, and grappling with teeth in general, I am confident that a sip of The Girvan Patent Still No. 4 Apps would serve you well.

Its mistral carries a snug scent of warmed vanilla paste and buttercream. Adding a few drops of water betrays an allspice and sugar tinge.

The whisky itself is extremely light on the palate. It sees the vanilla do a bit of twirling, and with each flection, it catches a few cherries, a little bit of chocolate, and then finally a wood spice.

The finish is medium and moderately pepper-like, which may seem at first to be somewhat unbalanced, but just give it a moment. The cherries are now chocolate dipped, and they are the last ones out the door.

Certainly this is a fine dram for the good Doctor. Secured as a favorite by this whisky’s dessert-like qualities, she may even catch herself in the office the following day warning the newly metalized children in her care, “Now, no more gum, or hard candy, or Patent Still No. 4 Apps…”