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I don’t claim to understand the deeper trails that connect one email database to the next. In other words, I don’t know how my primary email address might end up on this or that list, except to say that because I watch over it like I watch over my own children, it stays pretty secure. I use three other email addresses for the more risky communications in my life, and so far, they’ve been the ones to take the brunt of the email spamming barrages that pretty much anyone who uses email experiences. So, if I get some sort of message sent to my primary email address trying to sell me something, while I may not have signed up to receive the communiqué, it is usually hocking something that is in some way relevant and might be of general interest.

Knowing this, I’m not sure what to make of the message I received today, one offering a six-month free membership in an online dating service and adorned with the subject line “Meet Other Seniors over 50.”

“But, I’m not a senior, yet,” I whimpered sheepishly, taking off the eyeglasses that hardly work for me anymore because I’m in desperate need of bifocals. Setting them aside, I dropped a multi-vitamin and some ibuprofen into a down flow gulp of coffee and added, “I’m only forty-five years old, for crying out loud. I’m practically a spring chicken.”

The multi-vitamin is something my doctor forcefully recommended. The ibuprofen is for my knee and my terrible back, which both start their daily routines of throbbing pretty much as soon as I get out of bed.


Well, okay, so maybe the only things shattering the relevancy of this particular email are the facts that, first, my wife is still alive, and second, even if she weren’t, I’d have to dig really deeply to find any interest in ever engaging in the dating scene.

Nope. No interest whatsoever.

Leave me with my laptop, my books, and my whiskies. No need to go outside. I’d be just fine being the pasty old man in the neighborhood you rarely see, except when he’s out mowing the yard in his black “I ♥ WHISKY” t-shirt and blue-gray plaid shorts, all trimmed out quite nicely by his favorite red “Texas Towing” hat and black dress socks. I’d be pleased enough to be the pale widower who walks on his treadmill in the dimly lit basement, and even as he does, types away at sermons, articles, and whisky reviews for all of you.

Speaking of pale, in that digital moment of dreadful revelation, the Glenfiddich Experimental Series #01 India Pale Ale Casks edition was awaiting, tenderly inviting and willing to enliven me even as the sun of my body and emotions appeared to be setting.

With a fanning scent of a more lemon-like citrus, hardly a nudge of hops rises in the mix, carrying along in its stream a nip of unseasoned oak.

A sip reveals far more rivulets of the typical whisky flavors than beer, and for that, I’m glad. The whisky is doing what it’s supposed to do—which is be uniquely accentuated by the pale ale casks and not completely rerouted by them. There is the distant sense of carbonation, which I found intriguing, and I’m thinking it’s brought on by the ale’s specter combined with the citrus noted in the nosing. There’s even a little bit of something sweeter at the end—warmed honey, perhaps, and maybe even some brown sugar.

The finish is short, but still quite delightful, handing over a rather precise dosage of the hops you were expecting in abundance on the front end. It reminded me of what follows a glass of Blue Moon accompanied by the trademark orange slice.

The lighter nature of this dram, while it isn’t enough to put hair on your chest, is well and good for reinvigorating a humble gent for confronting the fact that while he is, indeed, getting older, he isn’t going to do so without a fight—which includes hiding this email from his wife, because the truth is, he’s probably going to die long before her and he doesn’t want her getting any ideas about remarriage.

Okay, full transparency. The real reason I don’t want my wife thinking about remarriage is because I have several cabinets full of whisky, and odds are, I won’t get through all of it before I breathe my last. Like any self-respecting whisky sod, I certainly don’t want her meeting some guy who might end up picking through all of it. With that, all of you can now serve as witnesses to my last will and testament.

I, Reverend Christopher Ian Thoma, do hereby request that the one who prepares my mortal remains for burial, rather than using the traditional mixture of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol, and other solvents for post mortem preparation, would instead use all—and I repeat ALL—of my remaining whiskies as embalming fluid lest they fall into the hands of a less-than-appreciative deadbeat who claims devotion to my surviving wife and begins squatting in my house. And if for some reason my remains are incapable of receiving all of the said whiskies, I hereby authorize the opening of each and every reasonable cavity in my body for housing what cannot be included in the embalming process. And if still there isn’t room, I request a Viking funeral. Douse me in the whisky that remains, put me on a kindling boat in the pond behind my house, and light me up.

Addendum: The one bottle of Scoresby hidden in the mixer cabinet is forbidden from being used in the process.