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“You’d miss me if I was gone,” Jennifer said playfully.

“Indeed, I would,” I replied to my lovely wife with just as bright a smile as her’s. But, I should’ve stopped right there. And yet, I didn’t. My mind kept working and I kept talking. “If I ever lost you,” I continued, “you know what I’d do first?”

“What’s that?” she asked, plopping down on the couch beside me.

“I’d buy a little TV and set it where you’re sitting right now, and every time I go to watch a movie, I’d turn it on a 24-hour news station.”

“Why?” she pried, looking somewhat bewildered.

“Because you always talk during movies,” I said. “I’d miss that a lot. I’d have that TV there to make it harder to concentrate on the movie, and every time I turn to look at it—to tell it to stop talking knowing that it won’t—I’ll think of you. I’ll probably cry through the whole movie… which will be a scary movie… because you won’t watch scary movies with me.”

“You know, you can lose me to more than death,” she spoke, inferring divorce. Her voice was steady and her face equally void of emotion. “Or I could lose you,” she concluded. “You could die in your sleep.”

Like I said, I should’ve stopped. And over the course of the next few days, I’ll be sleeping with one eye open, as the saying goes. She’s a good woman, but she’s more than capable of making whatever happens look like an accident.

“Ma’am,” the officer might say, “it looks like your husband died peacefully in his sleep.”

“Oh dear,” she’ll respond, wiping at a dry eye. “You know, I’ve been telling him for years that I thought he had sleep apnea.”

Do you think it was an accident that, if it ever departed from this world, the Tomintoul 10-year-old is one that folks would miss more than its 16-year-old sibling edition? Well, that’s at least how I feel about the whole situation. The 16-year-old was a mess, and with a tagline on the bottle referring to it as the gentle dram, I was uncertain what was meant by “gentle.” If I recall, my review of the 16-year-old mentioned tiny sharks attacking my tongue, so if by “gentle” they mean gradually being devoured by little sharks as opposed to being bitten in half by a big one, then the tagline fits. Still, they miss the truer definition of the word.

The 10-year-old is indeed gentle. The nose is warm butter and medium roasted coffee with cream. I also sensed a little bit of what I thought was a lime, but I didn’t get that until I added the tiniest drop of water after having already taking a straight sniff and sip.

The palate is unquestionably a browned and buttered English muffin with a thin, crowning layer of sweet mandarin marmalade.

The finish is very close to matching the palate’s details, but it adds to a light, but otherwise lengthy wash of the butter, something slightly spicy. My guess is cinnamon.

In all, if I were to make an attempt to connect the dots in this little jaunt, I’d say Jennifer is the 10-year-old Tomintoul. If she were ever suddenly absent from this world, she’d be missed. The 16-year-old, on the other hand, would never compare, and yet would only ever serve as a reminder of what you so desperately miss in the better edition.

Now, I realize there are loopholes in my logic as it meets with the scenario on the couch—plenty that have the potential for making my current hole a little deeper and the next few nights of “eyes wide open” a little longer. Just know I love my wife more than anything in the world, and with that, I’ll stop right there.