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20160312_152503The line at the drive through was moving dreadfully slowly.

“What the heck is the hold up?” I whispered to myself just as I heard the crackling AM radio sounding voice of the attendant to the woman in the van just before me.

The woman leaned forward through her window as if she were about to reach for a hovering understanding of what was just said, but instead, after a pause, she went ahead with her order. There was no response to her request. Twenty seconds. Thirty seconds. My only thought was that the computers were down and the attendant was using an abacus to calculate the order.

Finally, the distorted voice spoke again. And then again. And then kept on speaking. The woman in the van just sort of stared at the menu board before finally letting off of the brake and pulling forward to the first of the two windows in her immediate future.

It was my turn. I rolled up to the speaker prepared to make a simple request. All I wanted was a medium shamrock shake.

Mister Crowley… what went on in your head? Welcome to MacDonald’s. Can I take your order? Oh, Mister Crowley… did you talk to the dead?

“Um. Yeah. I just need a medium shamrock shake.”

Mister Charming… did you think you were pure? Mister Alarming, in nocturnal rapport… That’ll be $2.58. Uncovering things that were sacred…manifest on this earth… Please pull ahead to the first window.”

I caught myself in the exact same stare as the woman in the van before me. The female attendant had taken my order while singing a passionate, and yet quite grievous, rendition of the Ozzy Osbourne song “Mr. Crowley.”

Like the van pilot before me, I was momentarily stunned. I pulled forward expecting the window to slide open and reveal a carefree high school girl with an iPhone earbud in one ear and a drive thru headset earpiece upon the other, but instead I was met by a gyrating twenty-something with freckles and ginger locks, no earbud and singing acapella, “Mr. Crowley, won’t you ride my white horse? $2.58 please… Mr. Crowley, it’s symbolic, of course…

I gave her $3.00 and hastily moved on to retrieve my shake. I hadn’t a care for my change, although she must have called up to the girl at the second window because she handed me forty-two cents along with my shake.

Now, you may be laughing as you read this, but it really was an uncomfortable situation. She was absolutely immersed in the song playing in her head, enough so that I almost expected to see blood spatter on the window and a few headless bats lying around her register. I really just wanted to get my shake and get the heck out of there.

I found myself in a near similar situation with the Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky. After the first scent, sip, and swallow, I just kind of wanted to get my notes onto a piece of paper, cap it up, and put it in the back of the cabinet. I wasn’t impressed.

The nose is very much an inundation of the alcohol. There’s hardly a nip of rye to be had, although you might notice chocolate covered sour cherries.

The cherries show up in the first sip, too, but so do pinecones. The rye finally makes its debut, but it seems to be almost an afterthought to feels a little more like a spiced rum.

The finish is long, woody and dry. There’s a sweeter spice – cinnamon, perhaps – that arrives as it gets to the tail end of its fade, but still, it is a less-than-spectacular conclusion and nothing to get excited about.

Much like the girl at the drive-thru, this whisky performs impetuously, singing and moving with a frighteningly careless balance which made this particular consumer, at least, extremely uncomfortable. I suppose that when it comes to presentation, the Rittenhouse Straight Rye may not necessarily be the one you want in the first-face position with friends just as it may be a wiser move to have the fast food songstress in the back and out of sight, somewhere near the fry cooker or the roast beef slicer.