3 years old, 43%, @angels_portion, angelsportion, batch 01, canadian whisky, dillon's rye whisky, karate kid, lutheran, mr. miyagi, review, scotch, the best around, thoma, three oaks, thumb war, Whiskey, whisky
You know you’ve raised your kids right when you’re in the middle of a thumb war with one child and the other offspring in the room breaks right into the montage song from the 80s film “The Karate Kid.” Suddenly, everything in that moment changes when you hear, “You’re the best around! Nothing’s ever gonna keep you down!”
Mr. Miyagi would have been proud.
That song alone—as bad as it was then and still is today—had magic in that moment and turned what was to be a mere passing-the-time-at-the-doctor’s-office into a full-fledged twenty minutes of stretches, thumb warm-up routines, and a final sweat-drenched, digit-flicking moment of combat stupendous between father and son. The only things missing were the karategi uniforms, cheering spectators (although, we did have one), and the Chinese-themed motivational posters made especially for adorning the walls of a dojo.
It doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing, kids have a way of making certain moments much more enjoyable. But this means you have to give a little to their expectations. It means dropping yourself into their imaginary worlds as soon as they appear, filling any of the particular roles they’ve designed. This doesn’t mean you go along with the storyline completely. I rarely do that. In fact, I do what I can to twist the story’s expected outcomes and make it a little more fantastical. That never ends with sour faces.
Take for example the thumb war I shared above. When Evelyn began to sing, right away Joshua assumed the role of the movie’s protagonist, Danny LaRusso. At one point, he even did the infamous crane stance. I became Johnny Lawrence, the leader of the Cobra Kai gang and Danny’s arch rival. Of course Evelyn was rooting for Danny, the underdog, the one who is supposed to win. I was talking smack and pretending to be tough and unforgiving.
And then I actually was. I beat him down badly—seriously—and in the end, I told him to leave my girl Ali alone, get his loser self out of the valley, and go back to Jersey.
Yeah, sort of harsh. I guess he wasn’t the best around. I was. Still, the moment was unforgettably gratifying even as it was unexpected. We all laughed. At least I think remember that Joshua laughed.
The Dillon’s “Three Oaks” Rye was a bit of a surprise, I must say. It’s not that I expected it to be either good or bad, but rather I’ve only ever experienced such a multihued involvement with Scotch. Sometimes with Japanese whiskies, but never with Canadian whiskies. Almost certainly never with Bourbons.
And yet, kind of like sitting at the doctor’s office with nothing to do but instigate a thumb war, this whisky has a chorus singing in the background that makes it a bigger deal. The nose alone has lemon, ginger, and maybe even a toasted and well-buttered bagel.
In the mouth, there’s a coconut sprinkled doughnut dipped in cinnamon applesauce. The spice gives it some bite.
The finish is the whisky’s only hang-up. With a medium to long draw, it wanders away from everything I just described and lands in vat of sour chews that never actually received the sugar required by the recipe. Everything was looking good for Danny, until Johnny dodged that crane kick and knocked the Italian kid’s nose a little bit left of center.
Still, in all, it’s a complex whisky. And maybe even fun. It won’t get “Best Picture,” but it will be remembered for a long while as having used up a moment on the timeline in a most enjoyable way.