The Samsung dishwasher was chirping its fanciful little tune as it heralded the completion of its task. Steam billowed from its mouth. The two brothers stood still.
“Do you want to be the one to unload it and put all the dishes away?” Josh asked quietly.
“No,” Harry whispered back.
“Then don’t make eye contact with it,” he counseled, “and just back away slowly.”
“Why?” Harry whispered again, this time beginning to crouch with his arms outstretched. “Slowly?”
“Slowly,” Josh affirmed. “Its vision is based on movement.”
“It is? How do you know?”
“Trust me. I learned this the hard way when I walked past the lawn mower in the garage a few weeks ago.”
“Yeah, I did,” Josh answered. “All of the appliances around here are like that—the dishwasher, the machines in the laundry room, you name it.” He led Harry backward a single step. “The garbage cans, too.”
“Are you sure?” Harry asked, his voice getting a little louder than before.
“Quiet,” Josh hushed, pulling his brother backward another slow step. “I’m not gonna let you take me down, too,” he continued in a near-soundless tone. “If it sees you, you’re on your own.”
Over the course of the next few minutes, the two slackers managed to slink carefully backward and away from the kitchen without being noticed by the predatory appliance. But they didn’t get very far before the beast’s maiden—otherwise known as Mom—discovered them visiting with the PlayStation 4, and for a lack of charity, shackled and led them back to the dishwasher’s den.
“Careful,” Josh whispered, setting the last of the glasses into the cupboard while Harry dropped a final spoon into its place in the silverware drawer. “We may have survived this round,” he said to Harry. “But the sink is full. Keep your eyes on the floor and back away or we’ll have to load the dishwasher, too.”
Having slowly closed the door of the machine, being even more careful to minimize the click of its latch, the two dropped to the floor and army-crawled across the linoleum to the safety of the living room carpet. There on their backs they let out a sigh and reveled in their successful escape from possible doom.
As it is with my kids in relation to their chores, there are certain distilleries and resultant whiskies that are in many ways chore-like to consume. When I see them on the shelf, I avert my eyes and back away slowly. The 12-year-old editions from The Glenlivet and Glenfiddich are examples. But then there are others that are well worth the long hours of labor it takes not only to afford them, but to find them. In this case, it is the Toremore 14-year-old edition that serves as the example.
Released back in 2014 for about $60, I had every intention of purchasing a bottle. And while I did buy the 12-year-old edition (and finished it long before I ever thought about starting to write about whisky), I never got around to locating the 14-year-old. Now they’re a lot harder to find, and when you do find one, it’ll cost you a lot more than $60. Thankfully I have friends who didn’t miss out on the opportunity and are willing to share.
When you nose this Speyside jewel, the first things you’ll probably notice are the varieties of fruit—blackberry preserves and nectarines, although the nectarines are crisp and could probably use another day or so to ripen. Alongside the fruits, there’s a coolness reminiscent of soft-serve ice cream.
The palate sets out a similar tray of things—especially the blackberries—but then adds to the overall profile a warm sauce of semi-sweet chocolate and minced pecans that leads you into a medium-long finish singing the tongue with hot coffee and wood spice.
This is a great dram, and as I mentioned before, is more than worthy of every bit of the time and effort it takes to get it into a glass in your hand. I also found it to be perfect company while lurking in the darkness of our pantry listening to Josh contort his little brother’s perspective of household chores.
No matter. I’ll give them both another minute to chat—to feel safe in the moment—and then, when that moment passes, I’ll come out of the shadows to remind them that it’s been well over a week since the yard was last mowed, I’ll retell of the hungry mower and the even hungrier trimmer in the garage, and then I’ll kindly make the introduction.