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20161212_210602“Do I have to eat that?” Evelyn howled from a low to a high.

“But I thought you liked this stuff,” I said with surprise.

“No, I don’t,” she contested. “I don’t like it. Can I just have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”

I gave it only a moment’s consideration. No, I thought. This is what I’ve fixed. You liked it before and you’re going to eat it.

“No, you can’t,” I said firmly. “Get yourself a bowl. You’re eating what I’ve fixed.”

Her once hopeful eyes turned in a sour glare to the floor. “But I don’t like it,” she huffed and zombied to the cabinet.

“Yes, you do,” I said. “I’ve made it for you before and you loved it.”

“No, I haven’t,” she argued. “I’ve never had it.”

“Then how do you know you don’t like it?” I sounded in a quick response that I already knew would make little difference to the seven-year-old combatant. “If you’ve never had it, how do you know?”

“Because,” she said and purposely clanked her dish against the others to show her disgust. She did the same with the forks in the silverware drawer—dragging her hand and lazily scooping at the utensils as if she’d lost all fine motor skills and was suddenly stricken with a limb of atrophied muscle.

“I’m not having this conversation,” I said and took the bowl from her hands. She zombied back to her seat while I scooped and filled the bowl with her meal.

“I don’t want graveloli,” I heard her whisper to herself.

“Wait. What?”

“I said I don’t want graveloli,” she repeated, except this time with a little more vigor. “It sounds bad. I don’t want to eat it.”

Oh, I get it.

“Honey,” I said finally understanding her puzzling disdain. “It’s not graveloli. It’s ravioli.” I put the dish in front of her. “There’s no gravel in your food.”

I don’t remember who said it originally, but the ingot of wisdom goes something like: “No one would say much in a particular society if he knew how often he misunderstood everyone else.” So true. Don’t worry, my dear. Trust me, and be not afraid of what I’m setting before you. As your father and friend, I’m not inclined to feed you rocks.

So it is with my friend, Nathan, who sends me samples for review. He has no inclination toward setting before me anything abrasive. And yet when I first observed his hand-scribed “Edradour 10” label, for some reason, my tired mind received “Educator 10” and I thought to myself, He’s trying to surprise me with something that he thinks is going to teach me a lesson. I wonder what I said about a whisky he prefers that ticked him off. Then I looked again. Oh, Edradour. Phew.

Thanks, Nathan.

The nose of this adolescent whisky is by no means rasping. Instead, it’s a crisp whir of roasted apples and penetrating sherry. And the palate, well that’s a sorghum of crushed almonds and cream, ripened apple flesh, and momentarily smoked rainier cherries.

The finish is relatively short and it chooses only a few of the aforementioned complexities—the fruit and the smoke’s salute speak precisely.

It’s pretty good. And again, it’s not rocks. But I will confirm for you that it does not pair well with ravioli.