, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Benjamin Disraeli—a man rarely discussed, and in many ways, often underestimated—once remarked to a colleague, saying, “Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.”

He’s right. A man will do what he must when desperate.

Take, for example, the man who has forgotten his lunch, is broke, and knows the only scraps in the church refrigerator are those of an ancient bag of carrot sticks, an even older mound of oranges, and a partially eaten chocolate cake left over from a special celebration the previous Sunday. This man will lay aside all manner of civility in exchange for a paper plate and plastic fork, and he’ll pretend it’s his birthday. Of course he’ll celebrate in the darkened corner of a barren cafeteria.

Or consider the man who’s been asked a question by his bride, and the query is one that begins with such words as “Tell me the truth.” Terrified of revealing the truths of his mind and desperate for a way of escape, this man may attempt a sudden redirection of the conversation by sharing that earlier in the day, he ate the last and final strip of chocolate cake in the refrigerator at work in its entirety. Desperation settles for the reprimand of lesser force.

But what about the man who finds himself in need of writing a whisky review for the masses, but again and alas, he is cashless and cannot afford the edition he’d prefer to engage? In such situations, the desperate but diligent man willingly ventures to a bottom shelf dram and hovers there among the $20 stratum, eventually settling on one while thinking to himself, You never know. It might be good.

Lest you think I’ll admit to the first two scenarios, I’d be more than happy let rise from my shoulders the burdensome truth of the last. Yes, I bought a bottle of Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, and just so you know, it was worth the shallow wad of loose dollars I found in a freshly laundered pair of pants, each of the quarters I’d stored away in the cup holder in the van, and all of the dimes, nickels, and pennies in the canister in my office. At right around $19, my hopeful contemplations proved true. This is a fairly decent bottle of booze.

The nose of this rye meets one’s reasonable expectations of spice and wood char. There’s also a little bit of something that reminded me of sitting in a pine forest while eating a caramel apple. Not too bad.

The palate is not as enjoyable, and I say this because even as I could sit and smell it for a while, a sip from the whiskey packs very little punch. It’s barely reliable in its trade. It almost seems like a watered down version of what it was in a former life—as though the distillery manager became desperate to fill a much larger order and found himself turning the ABV dial from from 43% to 40.5%. Desperation, as we’ve already considered, will cause a man to take drastic action. Still, the action resulted in a whiskey that’s not entirely too thin to experience the rye spice and caramel foretold in the nose.

The finish is short. Like the space between the floor and the shelf upon which this edition resides.

Still, at $19, I have to admit that this is a pretty good buy, especially for a hunter/gatherer of loose change experiencing a dry season. With that, I suppose I can continue to focus my scavenging efforts toward the bottom whiskey shelf while praying for Sunday morning celebrations involving cake.