Per usual, one of Evelyn’s eating utensils was fifteen feet away from her on the restaurant floor. I think she may have done it purposely this time since it came to rest not too far from the lobster tank.
When we first walked in, Evelyn was quick to press against and peer into the tank. Recognizing her intrigue, the host asked all of the kids if they wanted to see one of the lobsters up close. Madeline wasn’t all that interested. Neither was Josh. But Harry and Evelyn were more than agreeable. With that, the man reached in and lifted one from the tank, and then proceeded to explain the anatomy and physiology of lobsters.
After a few minutes, while placing the oceanic cockroach with pinchers back into the tank, it fanned its tail and swiped at the tank water sending a small wave onto my shirt, shorts, and arm. Needless to say, knowing what they do in that water, I felt the urge to go straight to the bathroom and wash my hands.
But anyway, back to the fork on the floor.
“Ohhh,” the seven-year-old girl said with narrowed lips and wide eyes. “Now I understand.”
“Understand what?” I asked, half-expecting her to reveal something important that was just now making sense for her from the recent science lesson on lobsters.
While I know that’s not why they give you two forks at Red Lobster, even if only for a moment, the imagined restaurant stratagem made sense, and with that I thought, Now I know why there’s a Stalk and Barrel Blue Blend and a Stalk and Barrel Red Blend—just in case one falls short and ends up on the dirty floor near the lobster tank—so to speak.
I didn’t like the Blue Blend all that much. It was drinkable, but thin and not all that interesting. But the Red Blend, that’s a different story altogether. It’s the fork that remains safely on the table.
What I think I found most intriguing about this Canadian prize came right at the beginning. Almost immediately after its pour, there was the distant, but still distinct enough, scent of ripened papaya. A moment or two later, much closer to the nose and definitely more prominent, came the malted grains and a generous portion of sun-warmed honey.
In the mouth, the malt and the vanilla are there, but then along comes another fascinating fruit sensation—the starchy, but still mildly sweet, taste of plantains.
All of this rolls away in a very slow warmth, which is nice. At such a pace, there’s plenty of time to find each of the whisky’s notes.
In all, the Red Blend is a pleasing Canadian whisky, and if I had access to it here in the United States, I’d probably keep it on hand both for solitary consolation and for sharing. The Blue Blend I’d leave to the lobsters.