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20161019_205641“Harrison!” Evelyn bellowed from her tiny frame with enough force to bring each person in the house to an inquisitive pause. “You’re a jerk!” she said and took off after him. I could hear her in the other room bringing down the hammer of swift justice on the boy.

Odds are he probably deserved whatever was happening at that moment. Still, desperately holding back a smile, “Evelyn, honey.” I called, “Talk nicely.”

Even after having been recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes—a dreadfully troubling disease with many circling entities of concern—this little girl almost certainly retains the vigor required of any other her age. Most notably, she has everything needed for wrangling any of her siblings in conflict. I dare say that she probably has the gumption to rise, even from a diabetic coma, and throttle a pestering kin if necessary. Sure, she’s knit together a little differently these day, but the coal fire that burns in the locomotive of her spirit is anything but changed—anything but tame.

Sitting and sipping from a bottle of Detroit whiskey—the Catcher’s Rye from Two James Spirits—I’m thinking on the fact that the once great city of Detroit is on the upswing when it comes to big-city stamina. Things are changing. Businesses are coming back. People are moving back. Its engine is still firing. And it’s worth mentioning that the city has gone through some pretty devastating changes rivaled only by war-torn regions of the Middle East.

But having said all of this, while the city is poised for better days, I am still unwilling to go into it unless I absolutely have to. An orchestra performance, a baseball game, a visit to the famed Fox Theater to see a favorite entertainer—no thanks. It’s already too much work getting a babysitter who can handle glucometers and insulin injections. Why would I want to up the ante by choosing a destination where, at least at this point in history, after six o’clock I have a 28% chance of getting robbed or car-jacked at gunpoint? Things are changing in Detroit, but they haven’t changed enough to make me want to visit with any regularity.

Still, I might risk a quick trip if the Catcher’s Rye was only available in the darkened heart of its namesake burg. I think I might suit up—bullet proof vest, Sig Saur P226, and doing 45 in a 25 to make myself harder to catch—I’d roll up to the distiller and get a crate full.

I might—that is, I’d definitely think about it. I kind of like this stuff.

When the cork is first pulled from the bottle, the nose of the Catcher’s Rye is slightly piney, almost fleetingly gin-like. Give it a second, though. Gathering another sniff, this time from the glass, and there’s warmed pasta and a cup of steaming coffee with a drop or two of cream. It’s really rather delightful.

The palate, a little more refined, gives other gifts to appreciate. With a zesty spice and a tinge of fading white grapes, the whiskey adds to the cadence a tap of sugar and little bit of wood char.

The finish is everything I just mentioned minus the grapes.

Too bad Detroit can’t be everything I previously mentioned minus the robberies and car-jackings.