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20160608_203659Like many car stereos these days, mine is designed with the ability to play music from a flash drive, and since I’m pretty much the bus driver for the family, I keep a couple of flash drives loaded with various artists.

On the way to school in the mornings, I usually give the children the opportunity to take turns choosing different songs. With this, each makes a selection, and we listen.

Early one morning during our dutiful travels, a particularly dreadful conversation unfolded…

“So, guys, what do you want to listen to?”

Calls for all sorts of bands came blaring back.

“Maddy, today’s your day to go first,” I decided. “What do you want to listen to?”

“Umm… I dunno,” she said. “Play something from when you were a kid. Play something from the 40s.”

Although momentarily stunned by the possibility that my daughter thought I was thirty years older than I actually am, I gave a quick enough joust to her innocent remark.

“Maddy, I wasn’t born in the 40s. I was born in 70s. I’m currently in my 40s.”

“Well,” she said barely bothered by her mistake, “play something you listened to when you were a kid.”

“Okay,” I said and began scrolling through the bands on the flash drive, eventually landing at Pearl Jam.

“Here’s one for you,” I called back to the crew. “See if you like this.”

I clicked through to the song “Animal,” and turned it up. It wasn’t long before all of the car’s passengers were in a jive and singing what few lyrics could be discerned from Eddie Vedder’s trademark incoherence.

“So, do you guys like this stuff?” I shouted back in mid-chorus, still singing, “I’d rather be… I’d rather be with… I’d rather be with an animal.” All smiled and gave their approval.

When the song finally came to an end, Maddy called out again, “Now play something from when you were a kid.”


“Maddy, I just did! That was Pearl Jam! I used to listen to them in High School and College!”

“What?! But… but that was cool.”

Sigh. I’m already fearing fifty.

I suppose I should just go ahead and figure out what I’m worth to these twits dead, and after an insult like that, there’s one thing I know for sure. They can have whatever else is coming to them by way of inheritance, but there’s no way I’ll be leaving my prized whisky collection to any of these ingrates. When I finish this review, I’ll be calling my attorney and adding a paragraph to my last will and testament instructing, first, that I’d like to be embalmed with the contents of my Balvenie editions; and second, that all the rest of my whiskies are to be tucked around my mortal remains in the casket and planted with me into the earth – the Hibiki Harmony edition being no exception.

Apart from the slightly curing nose which suggests freshly cut and lacquered oak, this is a fine Japanese whiskey worthy of such devotion. With the first sip I was an instant admirer, relishing freshly picked kakis and a cast of sherry. A second sip brought along a distant bit of singed pine. No, not oak. Pine.

The finish is a medium, well-balanced sweep of pears and pastry dough – just the kind of whiskey one would want before slipping off into the great goodnight.

I suppose that when my daughter accounted to me a generation that I neither own nor deserve, I should have accepted the honor, praised her, and played some Glen Miller or Bing Crosby to celebrate. I do have that sort of stuff on one of the flash drives.

On second thought, she insinuated that the honored generation was uncool.

“Madeline… honey… you’re grounded.”