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20160507_160440It took me thirty-five minutes to clean my Ford Explorer, but I spent two hours cleaning out our Chrysler minivan.

Two hours.

Well, I do have a family of six, and with that comes a lot of debris. Although, when I climb in, it sort of feels like I just entered a portal to a Narnia-like world of never-ending junk – Barbie dolls, Barbie clothes, paper sacks, coloring books, snack wrappers, school papers, notebooks, melted crayons, something that looked an awful lot like dried snot near the lift gate, several lone socks with no partner, church bulletins from weeks past, a AAA battery that looks like it was gnawed, A/V wires, DVDs with no case, a pair of headphones, about twelve used straws, Legos, and more Legos, pencils, markers, a few action figures, a flashlight, three bags of used clothes intended for the Goodwill store, a magazine, and a package to be mailed.

I suppose it could be worse. I didn’t discover a bloody axe wrapped in plastic tucked down in the stow-and-go compartment, suggesting that my wife, the one who usually pilots the van during the week, might be a serial killer. And I didn’t find a family of rabid raccoons or a hive of bees. That’s good.

Needless to say, I managed to find my way back to this world, and with that, I’m toasting my back-breaking success with a dram of the Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015 edition.

While this particular dram smells a little like some of the cleaners I was using to scrub tar from under the wheel well of the van, and perhaps add to that the melted crayons under the front passenger seat, there are some redeeming qualities to this whisky that I was fully expecting to enjoy at almost every turn.

As I said, the nose was a little harsh – chemically floral – a disenchanting combination. But the palate was all Laphroaig, giving me everything I was hoping for – peat, a seaside breeze of salt and seaweed, and fire pit ash mixed into rose water. Very earthy.

The finish is reasonably long, culminating in a plume of clove cigarettes, cedar cinders, and warm sea water.

I liked this stuff. Manly. Just what a sweaty, car-cleaning father of four needs after a couple of hours in the sun cleaning the coach. And I suppose that if this whisky is waiting for me at the end of each vehicle sweep, you can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be doing it more often and we’ll have the cleanest wheels on the block.

Beautiful, eh?