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20170205_143124Everyone knows that Darth Vader loves Lagavulin. The 16-year-old in particular is his favorite.

I’m not entirely sure if he’s tried the celebratory 8-year-old edition released to mark the distillery’s 200th anniversary. I haven’t asked him. I meant to the last time we spoke, which was a few weeks ago. He was on his way back from an alligator-handling seminar in Belle Glade, not far from Lake Okeechobee, and all he really wanted to talk about was his role in the recent “Rogue One” film. And even then, I couldn’t catch a lot of what he was trying to tell me about it because his mobile phone kept cutting out. Cellphone reception in that part of the Everglades is terrible, although, sometimes I wonder if he’s just getting a little absent minded in his old age and forgetting to replace the batteries in his voice modulator. It makes this strange clicking sound and pops on and off when the batteries are nearing their end. I stopped at a Circle-K and bought him a fresh pack of 9-volts before the last time we met at the Red Lobster in Brandon. It made all the difference in the world.

Anyway, I did manage to garner from the phone conversation that things aren’t going so well with his new wife, Edith. In my opinion, I don’t think he ever really got over losing Padmé. She’s the only one who ever truly made him happy. I tried to talk with him about it the last time we were together in Brandon—even risking that I might offend him by pointing out that if he keeps finding himself in front of the mirror each morning aiming Jedi mind tricks into his own skull just to get through the day, something is probably wrong. Of course, he shrugged it off in his Vader-like way. Yeah, he Force-choked me. But he didn’t kill me. And he picked up the tab for my Admiral’s Feast and the Glenmorangie I was sipping to show he was sorry.

We have plans to get together again for a dram this summer when I venture down with the family for our annual pilgrimage to Orlando. As you may already know from some of the things you’ve read here at AngelsPortion, Darth got a job in a little backwater attraction wrangling gators and now he’s living not all that far from Clearwater. We’ll probably meet up at the Red Lobster in Brandon, again, since that’s about half way from where we usually stay. I intend to bring along and share the Lagavulin 8-year-old edition. I’m curious as to his thoughts.

I hope he likes it. In fact, if he does, I’ll probably just leave the bottle with him because, personally, I wasn’t all that impressed.

While the nose of this whisky is most certainly a smoky delight, tempting with a slice of sweetened tangerines, the palate was aberrant. It paints a light layer of citrus oil that pretty much tastes like it was mixed straight from fire pit ash. Normally I would find such bizarreness to be rather invigorating, but this one was far too unbalanced to find enjoyable. It seems like it wants to be tough, but the fruit makes it feel a little more like you’re sipping an orange juice into which someone accidentally dropped at least a teaspoon full of cigar cinders.

The finish is long. The orange juice strains away, but the chalky ash stays. And then stays some more.

In all, my guess is that Vader is going to need a mirror and a mind trick to maintain a relationship with this stuff.vader-angelsportion-red-lobster