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20170302_190052“Hey, guys!” I called to the kids from the living room window. “C’mere, quick!” Already well acquainted with the enthusiastic tone of my voice, the room thumped from the sound of all four running toward discovery.

Behind our house is a large outstretch of wetlands, and with that, it isn’t uncommon for us to be treated to wildlife displays as we are sometimes visited by the various inhabitants of the neighboring acreage. Deer, foxes, muskrats, vultures, trespassing neighbor children, snapping turtles, beavers, groundhogs, turkeys, snakes, and even bald eagles—we’ve seen a plentiful cast of wily creatures. My voice signaled the possibility of having observed something new.

“Do you see it?” I asked in a half whisper and pointed to the shore just beyond the pond.

“What? Where?” they each asked and scanned the scene.

“It’s there,” I said and pointed. “It’s sitting in the weeds just a few paces to the right of the trail.”

“I don’t see it,” Harry said with concern.

“Me either,” Madeline said softly.

“Where do you see it?” Josh asked attempting to align his gaze with the direction of my finger. Evelyn pushed in from beneath her siblings, her head bobbing up and down as she fought for a place to observe whatever had snatched my attention.

“It’s right there, just past the pond,” I nudged one of them and pointed again. “It’s in the taller grass in front of the bushes. You have to look very carefully, otherwise you might not see it. It’s sitting very still.”

“I still don’t see it,” Josh said beginning to sound frustrated. “What is it?”

I gathered them closely together so that they could peer down the length of my arm to my pointed finger barely pressing against the glass. “It’s a wild garbage can. I think it may be nesting.”



There was silence.

“Isn’t that neat?” I said. “We’ve never seen a garbage can in the wild before. We usually only see domesticated cans. I wonder if she’s had her babies already.”

The silence continued. Glares were added.

“It looks like it may be a young garbage can, too, not fully grown,” I said and leaned more closely toward the window. “You know, some garbage cans can get pretty big, as big as a small car.”

“Nice,” Josh said and walked away.

“Daddy,” Madeline gave through the teeth of an annoyed grin. “You’re ridiculous.”

“Oh, man,” Harry said with a little more exuberance. “I thought maybe there was a bear back there. Or a puma.”

Evelyn—the queen of my imaginative heart—met me right where I was.

“Oh,” she exclaimed, “it’s so cute!”

“Shhh,” I hushed her. “Garbage cans have really great hearing. I’ll bet she can hear us through the window and we don’t want her to run off. She needs to take care of her eggs.”

“She sure is sitting very still,” Evelyn observed.

“Yes, she is,” I said. “Why do you think that is?”

“It’s so that predators don’t see her,” Evelyn began with a hushed tone. “She’s camouflaged.”

“You’re absolutely right,” I said to praise her. “You’re so smart.”

“What if she’s sitting so still because she’s hunting?” the little girl added.

“I never thought of that. Maybe she is.”

“Naw,” she said and returned to the original thread. “There’s probably a whole bunch of garbage can eggs under her.”

“I guess we’ll see, won’t we?”

“I wonder when the babies will be born,” she said with a smile.

“Maybe in a few weeks,” I answered. “Spring is coming and that means lots of other animals will be having babies—the turtles, the deer. And just in time, too, because the pizza trees will be starting to bloom very soon.”

“And then we’ll have fresh pizzas,” she said without losing stride, “which is what garbage cans like to eat!”

“Amen to that, sister,” I said and hugged her. “There’s nothing like pepperoni pizza right from the tree.”

“Bye, Daddy,” she said abruptly and skipped away. “Let me know if you see anything else out there.”

“I will, honey.”

The window at which we had been standing is right beside one of my whisky cabinets. What else could I do in that moment than reach for something new, something I’d never experienced before, something imaginative? With that, I happened upon an unopened bottle of The Lost Distillery Company’s Gerston edition.

One thing you need to know about editions like the Gerston is that, as I said, they begin with a certain level of imagination. The whisky inside is a guess at what once was, not an actuality, but an imaginative proposition with some data to drive it. If the data driving this particular edition is anything like the stats that Evelyn and I were dealing with—that wild garbage cans roam the wetlands of Michigan, or that pizzas grow on trees—then one can appreciate the lore of the whisky while knowing that it is to be taken lightly. But knowing what I know about the folks at The Lost Distillery Company, while it may seem more like a gimmick to release such editions, I’m pretty sure they’re an integrous bunch working diligently to connect us to whiskies of former days. In the end, it remains an intriguing angle to the whisky industry.

The Gerston edition, for the price, is a reasonably drinkable dram. Its nose is one of faint peat but secure malt. You may even sense something trying very hard to be honey but ending up as overly salted toffee. The first sip proves you were right about the salt, but wrong about the toffee. It is malted honey spread over toasted sour dough bread. There’s a small wedge of pepper jack cheese in there, too.

The finish fades from sea water into a malty and peated fresh water and then to the shore. In other words, there’s a saltiness that quickly becomes a thinned, but clean, malted peatiness. Shortly thereafter, it’s gone.

I like this stuff, and again, for the price, it should serve most whisky drinkers fairly well. It’s not necessarily a celebratory whisky—as in one you might lift in a toast to celebrate a flock of garbage can hatchlings—but it is one you might sip after spinning a fantastical yarn for your children, whether they go with it or not.