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It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting at my computer in my office at the church. The second of three services just received its benediction, and with that, the attendees have all departed for their homes. There’s another service tonight, but it isn’t for another four hours.

“You should probably go home for a little while, Reverend.”

You’re right. I probably should. But I won’t. It just snowed several inches, and as I write this, I can see that it’s still coming down. I live about twenty miles from here, and even though I drive a Jeep Wrangler, I don’t necessarily feel like pitching myself into a thirty minute white-knuckle ride home and then the same, if not worse, adventurous ride back. And don’t forget, I’ll make that same drive one more time at the end of the night to get back home, and then the following morning for our Christmas Day service.

Making this trip once tonight is quite enough. And besides, if you think about it, in everything I just described, you have all of the fixings for a Christmas Eve tragedy. You know, a straight-to-Netflix movie with a title like “All He Wanted Was Some Glazed Ham” and a brief synopsis that reads: “A family of six endures unexpected tragedy when the father, a minister, is killed in an auto accident while driving home on Christmas Eve. Struggling to understand the untimely event, will the love they have for one another be enough to keep them together, or will their relationships melt away over time like the last of the drifting snow in the ditch that consumed dad?”

I’m just going to stay put.

Not to worry, though. I came comfortably prepared. I have a benevolence closet at my disposal. I would’ve had two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but my daughter Madeline—the one tasked with creating and bringing them for me—forgot to do so. Still, Campbell’s soup will make a fine Christmas dinner. And maybe a can of sweet corn, too. Additionally, I brought along a couple of bottles of Scotch that I’ve yet to try—one of which you’re soon to hear about. Thankfully, my wife provided a sturdy Tinkerbell bag to make safe their transport and impress onlookers. I even have a Waterford Crystal rock glass. Lastly, my office is warm, my cot is in place, and I’m listening to ACDC—“Nervous Shakedown” to be precise. Not exactly a Christmas carol, but still something to offset the snarling winds just outside my window and upsetting the stillness of my current solitude.

As I said, I’ll be fine, especially since I have before me the 2017 edition of the Laphroaig Cairdeas Cask Strength Quarter Cask.

I received this whisky from my good friends Scott and Georgie Rhodes, and I must say that having just loosed its cork and given it a go, already I can attest to it being the perfect dram for the night I’ve described, especially since no one is here, and I like it so much I’d have trouble sharing.

The nose of this delightful invention sets free an initial pother of simmering citrus and white chocolate chips, all hovering above a well-stoked peat fire beside which bread crusts have fallen and are being blackened. I’d say the bread was generously buttered before it fell.

A sip reveals a pasting of tar and lemon jelly atop a wedge of warmed sour dough.

The smoke delivered in the palate is relentless, and it carries well over and into a longer finish, one that brings along a morsel of the sour dough, now a little sweeter, and a hint of the oil used to grease the bread pan before baking.

I’m glad I brought this whisky tonight. And yet, had I decided to drive home, increasing the possibility of ending up hanging from my seatbelt overturned in a ditch, the Laphroaig would have been there, and it would have well-sufficed for keeping warm until I was cut free and rescued—be that sooner or later. Either way, while there is something to be said about enjoying it here at my desk as opposed to a snow bank somewhere off of US-23, I’ll give it a gracious nod and say that it would be quite pleasing to most Scotch whisky drinkers no matter where it was consumed.

Still, I’m not going anywhere.

Slàinte mhath and Merry Christmas.