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20161222_201112I haven’t had a whole lot of time lately to review whiskies. At this moment, as they say, I have far too many irons in the fire.

As of late, I seem to have slipped back into a rather exhaustive pace of 24/7 demands. Some are of my own doing, of course. You can almost always figure that I’ll be pushing myself to the extremities of my own endurance. Why? Because I know myself. I know that when my mind is merely idling, I get restless. If it isn’t being challenged to accomplish something—to see something through to some sort of an end of benefit to my congregation, my family, or mankind in general—I become frustrated. I’m at my worst in these moments and I can get to feeling pretty useless.

But I’m also in danger of such frustration when the challenges are gratuitously imposed upon me from the outside—when my schedule is seized unnecessarily by the schedules of others; in other words, when the narcissists of life close in on you with this and that need, and they use their skills of self-preservation to guilt you—the pastor—into doing for them what they are unwilling to do for themselves.

I won’t give examples. I’ll just complain to you about it.

In the meantime, even as busy as I’ve been—and I’ve been writing a lot—I haven’t had as rich a desire to do much writing about whisky since my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. The whole situation, at least at this moment on the timeline, seems to have drained me of quite a bit of inspiration.

It’s a lot harder not only to see the humor in things, but to remember the particulars of the humorous things so that I can apply them to a particular whisky and then share them with you. And my whisky cache—both opened and unopened editions—has been more of a therapeutic salve at the end of some pretty long days. The opened ones get revisited as I pour and then hover above the dram’s rim, breathing across its sheen a sigh or two of relief. I can see the tiny ripples that result from the air’s moving. The untapped editions have, as of late, only enjoyed a glance.

“I’m just not feeling it, tonight,” I say and pass them over.

“But when?” they return with a sigh as I’ve sighed.

“I don’t know,” I respond. “Not now. The time is not right.”

Last night, the clock struck for the Tamdhu Batch Strength, and oh how vividly clean its chime pealed.

This whisky, stirred and poured at an imposing 58.8% ABV, is a fantastic dram—a new favorite—and for me, one that I don’t mind having arrive at my door to tell me what to do. Why? Because it brings along a pleasant plea for joyful company rather than an ear for slanderous things.

The nose is a brilliant resonation of commanding honey and warmed creams, some sweet and others buttery.

“Yes, please, do come in.”

In the mouth, even without a cut of water, it’s imposing is strong and convincing, casting crisp tones of sherry, cinnamon-dusted bagel bread, vanilla, and quite possibly a little bit of caramel-filled chocolate.

“Ah, I’d be most pleased to help.”

The finish is fresh from the infinite spaces between heaven and earth—the creams and sherry being the most prominent.

“Indeed, and thanks for stopping by. It truly was a delight to be with you.”

Truly a favorite. Inspiring, challenging, invigorating. And for all of the minutes of each of the coming days that I have so stingily imprisoned, having bound them away from any sort of time for “self” or so frivolously allowed to be snatched, I do intend to reclaim as many as necessary in order to seek another bottle of the Tamdhu Batch Strength.

It is time well spent in the car—a quest that’s almost spiritual in nature—unreachable, listening to the radio, in hiding while in motion, and well worth sacrificing the time required for a meeting or two that certainly could have waited until my schedule allowed and not yours.