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20160411_201151When I was a kid, there was a particular part of the worship service in my church that had me incredibly confused.

Anytime the Lord’s Supper was to be received, the service began with a corporate confession of sins. Within that confession, the following words were subscribed to and spoken by all as a descriptor of the concern for our offenses of thought, word, and deed: “But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them…”

These words confused me.

My pastor had thoroughly explained sin. Even as a little one, I knew what it was and what it meant for me as an individual. I’d also heard from my pastor on more than one occasion that the Gospel message of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for my sins was a powerful word of promise which actually worked within me a repentant heart that desired to confess sin, seek forgiveness according to that promise, and work to amend the sinful life.

Sounds good.

But as a late blooming literate who, by the age of six, felt as though I didn’t really need to be able to read anyway because I’d already pretty much mastered the entirety of the language of the liturgy in the same way I’d learned to speak English – by listening and repeating – there remained that portion of the order that had me terribly confused and concerned – a part I usually said with eyes closed in a contrite posture: “But I am hardly sorry for them and sincerely repent of them…”

How can you be hardly sorry for something and have the desire to repent?

And then I learned to read…

Ah, now I get it. “Heartily” and “hardly” are really rather different, aren’t they?

Alas, my fellow whisky congregants, let there be no mistake among us here with regard to my confession of the George Dickel Tennessee Sour Mash Number 8 edition. I hardly enjoyed it and sincerely repent of it.

In the hooch illiteracy of my younger days, it was debris like this that kept me from realizing the bright promontory that whisky could be. Thank the gracious Creator that He so kindly allowed for me the curiosity to walk into that little shop in London where I would be whisked away to a better future.

This stuff is kindly enough on the nose at first, giving over a warmth that carries along with it a nip of flaxen corn syrup, but if you bring it in too forcefully, you’re likely to cauterize the lesser vessels in your nasal cavity.

On the palate, this stuff is essentially a light wash of the charcoal used in the distillation process with some stale candy corns and pepper sprinkled in. This translates into a medium finish that lasts long enough to prove it is less than impressive.

In the end, I will say that I am glad that I gave it a try. It did provide for a moment of enlightenment. And in that same moment of clarity, I was given to rejoice that indeed I’ve discovered and have settled amongst the things that meet the “heartily” rather than the “hardly.”