46%, @angels_portion, angelsportion, blue label, couch, dinner party, fire, free parking, ghost and rare, greek, hebrew, johnnie walker, latin, lutheran, monopoly, review, scotch, scrabble, thoma, Whiskey, whisky
“Hey, Daddy,” the little girl sing-songed while thumping down the stairs. “Do you wanna play a game with me?”
“Sure,” I replied, knowing full well that I’d denied her too many times already. “What game do you want to play?”
“Let’s play that game where we slap each other’s hands,” she said with just as musical a voice.
“You mean the one where I put my hands under yours like this,” I asked and demonstrated, “and then try to move as fast as I can to slap the tops of your hands before you pull them away?”
“Yep, that’s the one. Let’s play that.”
“Okay,” I said. “So, who goes first?”
“You can try to slap my hands first,” she replied. “But before we start, let’s see if Joshua wants to play with us.”
“Okay. He can go next.”
“Oh, no,” she said resolutely. “I was thinking that instead of you actually slapping my hands, you could slap Joshua, instead.”
“Um, but, that’s not how the game is played, honey.”
“I know. But I don’t really want you to slap my hands, and I think his room is messy. He won’t be ready for you, so you’ll definitely win the first game, and then you can just tell him you did it because his room is so messy.”
“How messy is it?”
“Very,” she reported sternly. “I can’t even see his floor.”
“But you’re a much bigger slob than he is,” I volleyed.
“Yeah, but I’m only eight. He’s seventeen. He should know better.”
A contemplative moment passed.
“Josh!” I called out to my eldest son.
“Yeah,” returned a somewhat muffled voice.
“Do you want to play a game with me and Evelyn?”
“Sure. What are you playing?”
Now, I know what you’re thinking about the scene I just described. And you’re right. Making up new rules is a great way to spice up any particular game. I mean, who of us really wants to play Monopoly when there’s no chance of a financial windfall from landing on “Free Parking”? Not me, that’s for sure. And who wants to play Scrabble without being able to use proper nouns, spell a word backwards, or use foreign languages? Oh, heck no. As a pastor, what’s the use of learning a bunch of different languages if I’m forbidden from employing any of them to destroy you during full-on Scrabble combat? Let me tell you, if I discover that the letters in my stash can be rightly arranged to spell out in Latin “aquabubalus,” you’d better believe I’ll be slapping those tiles down and asking, “So, who else wants some of this?”
In short, rule breaking can, sometimes, lead to a fuller enjoyment of God’s gifts in any particular moment. Take for example the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare.
I’ve never been a big fan of Johnnie Walker, and I must admit that when I received this generous Christmas gift from some very dear friends—Ed and Harry—I thought there might be a chance I could end up offending them when it came time to write the review. I have to be honest in the expressing of my impressions of every whisky I drink, otherwise my credibility as a reviewer will be shot. And Johnnie Walker and I haven’t had a very good relationship over the years.
But here I am with what I would say is one of the best blended whiskies I think I’ve ever tried—even better than the Ballantine’s 21-year-old. In other words, the time has come to break my “never-buy-Johnnie-Walker-whisky” rule, knowing that if I do, in the case of this whisky, it will be to my benefit.
As an inhalant, the Ghost and Rare is relatively mild—not stodgy like most of the other Johnnie Walker editions. This one offers up caramel apples, and maybe even an after dinner dessert plate of warmed brownie and ice cream. A little longer with the dram and there’s the certainty of a pinch of mint in the ice cream.
The palate is incredibly delightful, carrying through with a deliciously buttery cream of toffee, sweet doughnut glaze, and blood oranges.
The medium finish—bearing an almost unnoticeable kiss of smoke—singles out from the nose and palate the apples and the buttery toffee, ultimately jettisoning pretty much everything else.
This is a costly dram, one that would almost certainly cause you to break other rules in order to purchase it, like the ones communicating that society typically looks down upon people who withhold food and clothing from their children—or rob banks—in order to afford such whisky.
Don’t break those rules. Feed and clothe your kids, and earn your own money. But let’s say you find yourself at a friendly dinner party where you just so happen to stumble across a bottle of the Ghost and Rare in the host’s liquor cabinet. In that case, I think it makes sense to set fire to a couch so that while everyone else is distracted and working to put it out, you could fill a flask or two to take home.
I won’t judge you. Unless, of course, the dinner party is happening at my house, and that was my couch and my bottle of the Ghost and Rare. In that case, I’ll call the cops and let the local magistrate do the judging.