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“So, do you want to take the kids to Disney Springs tonight?” Jen asked, holding herself at the edge of the pool in a float.”

Momma!” the youngest pried.

“Sure,” I said. “Let’s go after dinner. We can go—”


“—to Basin and some of the other stores that the kids want to visit.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Jen replied. “Maybe we can let them swim again later tonight when we—”


“—get home.”

“It’ll be kind of late,” I said, moving from the step at the shallow end to where Jen was soaking.


“As long as it’s not—”


“—too late,” I finished, dodging an impatient splash.

“If we leave here at 6:00,” Jen suggested, “we can walk around for a few hours and then get back so that—”


“—so that they can swim, maybe until about 9:00 or so.”


“Yeah, for the sake of the neighbors,” I said and paddled, “we’d better not let them swim much past—”


And then in a furious turn, one so fast that not even the water around her was disturbed, Jen acknowledged the pestering child with a singular word through a primeval sound that could only be described as half human.

“Whaaaat?!” she sounded with a wide-eyed howl.

All of the pool’s commotion came to a halt. But the little girl, wholly unaffected, flipped up her goggles and spoke in as carefree a manner as she’d been asking. “Watch me do a handstand!” she said. In a moment, her toes were to the sky while her mother stood there staring silently, her mouth somewhat gaped.

I laughed so hard I nearly peed in the pool. Jen, of course, remained still. Although, even in her relatively motionless stance, she gave me a glance that more than communicated she was less than impressed with the level of joviality in my response.

The moment sort of reminded me of some folks I know in the whiskey world.

“Hey, Chris, have you tried Blanton’s, yet?”

“Reverend, you should review Blanton’s.”

“When will The Angels’ Portion do a review of Blanton’s?”

“I can’t believe that Thoma hasn’t reviewed Blanton’s.”

“I think the Reverend should try Blanton’s and do a review.”

“Hey, Reverend!”


“Are you ever going to review Blanton’s?”


Yes. And for the record, I’ve had Blanton’s before, but I don’t remember it being all that memorable. Nevertheless, with a focused attempt this time around, I’m convinced that all the pestering was not without substance. In other words, I’m glad I finally got around to this one in official taste-testing mode. It’s really pretty good—a much more elaborately performed dance than an eight-year-old’s handstand in the pool.

The nose offers an initial wade of charred cherries and caramel. A second inhalation brings in more of the fruit.

The palate is a creamy synchronization of the nose’s cherries, a handful of vanilla chips, and some barrel spice. A little bit of water opens up the performance in a way that reveals the caramel from the nosing.

The finish is a medium splash of the barrel spice followed by the vanilla chips just as they’re about to melt.

Again, this is far better than what my daughter intended for Jennifer to behold. By the way, notice the little girl wasn’t asking for my attention. I have all four of them trained. When they come to pester me, I pretend I don’t speak English and I respond in Spanish, Latin, or Greek. If I really want to tire them out, I use Russian. Of course, Jen doesn’t appreciate the blowback from all of this, because it means that they almost always skip me and go straight to her for anything they want or need. But that’s fine for me. Although it could be bad for the swimming pool and everyone in it if I find her frustration far too amusing.