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Someone just told me today that I’m a great communicator. That was nice. Although I’ll admit I rarely feel that to be true, at least not in a holistic sense. Just ask my wife.

As far as the comment is concerned, I’ll confess to my written persona being far different than my public persona. I’m not so sure that many writers would admit to this, but I will. I’m more than willing to say that the guy you meet here could be someone completely different than the one you might meet at the supermarket. A personality disorder? Maybe. It wouldn’t be the first time someone has accused me of such a thing. Thankfully, those diddlers don’t exist in my neck of this earthly sphere anymore. They’ve moved on and found other clergyfolk to torment.

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I find myself in a completely different zone when I’m at my keyboard than when talking face to face with someone. At my keyboard, when I’m tip-tapping away in a steady flow, there seems to be in this wonderful little drama of keys and fingers, a sense of liberty—an opening up of the throttle on the open road; the hand of my heart, soul, and mind just outside my window riding the crest of the wind’s unending wave. But standing beside you in aisle six at Walmart, I’m much slower with my words. I’m guarded, careful, almost hesitant. The conversation may take a little while to get started, and when it does, I’ll choose each word precisely.

But again, here at the keyboard, it isn’t that way. I perform each sentence once and then move on to the next, and with that, I feel like I could write and write and write for hours. In fact, I know can. I did it while at the seminary. I could produce a ten page paper in a single night, all because I have this strange ability to write a lot in a very short period of time. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that what I produce is any good, but, take for example, my book Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor. I wrote that in five days—ten hours of writing and I was done. It was in print and on shelves in less than two months.

So, why share all of this? I don’t know. But remember, every whiskey stirs a story, and this is what came to mind while sipping on the Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey sample I received from a distributor visiting one of my local haunts. Maybe it came to mind because having tried a sample straight from the bottle at the store, this sample went home with me for review, and when I poured it into the Glencairn, it was something completely different than what I remembered only thirty minutes prior.

Same dram. Completely different experience.

At the store, in the bustle of customers coming and going while we sat in the corner and sipped, there was something burnt in the nose. I remember crisp-crusted rye bread with sesame seeds and a light butter glaze. At home, just the two of us, the rye was there, but now it was soggy and unwilling to give up more than the smell of fresh dough being kneaded.

The palate there—aggressively minty with a touch of vanilla and minced pecans. Here—the dram was stingy, giving little more than the alcohol while hinting to the grains that sourced it.

The finish in both circumstances was the same. Both were swift and to the point—and the point being cinnamon laced vanilla chips slightly burned.

As you can see—same whiskey, different zones, different experiences. The containers make a difference, too, I think. But in all, I can’t explain it. Maybe the container wasn’t clean. Or maybe my Glencairn had dishwasher residue in it. I don’t know. I guess I’ll need to buy a bottle of this stuff and try again. Sounds like a good excuse to add another edition to my cabinets.