12 years old, 43%, @angels_portion, airbus 321, angelsportion, dangerous turn, detroit, florida, landing, lutheran, macallan, orlando, review, runway, scoresby, scotch, sherry oak cask, thoma, vacation, Whiskey, whisky
Do you remember that time when you were driving along at sixty miles per hour and you happened upon the cross street you were looking for much sooner than expected? Do you remember how you decided in that moment to attempt the turn anyway rather than pass it, turn around, and come back? Do you recall how in that moment of the actual turn you realized what a huge mistake it was? Do you remember the silent prayer that formed behind your wide-eyed animation and cursing, the one that sounded something like, “Lord, as I roll this car and am ejected into the ditch, please just let me live”? Do you remember that feverish instant of trembling after the successful completion of the turn, that moment when you found yourself in disbelief that you were still alive? And perhaps finally, do you recall that thought a half mile down the road when you gave a sigh of relief that there was no one else around in the moment of the turn to be jeopardized by your deathly lunacy?
Now, envision an Airbus 321 arriving in Orlando from Detroit. Imagine that all 240 of its seats are occupied by excited vacationers. Be mindful that the overhead compartments are brimming and so is the luggage compartment in the plane’s belly.
Imagine that aircraft coming in for a landing and touching down at two-hundred miles per hour. Imagine hearing the ceremonial applause from the passengers. Imagine cruising along for a few moments as though heading to the furthest exit at the end of the runway. Imagine the sudden and deafening sound that comes from throwing the engine thrust reversers into full power in order to make an immediate left turn.
Imagine that turn—because it happened.
The plane tottered. People screamed. Prayers were said.
Once the turn was completed, folks offered another round of ceremonial applause—although I’m guessing it was more a form of communal praise to the Lord for deliverance from the runway canal we nearly rolled into and which was most likely occupied by gators.
The captain eventually came over the PA system to offer a nervously quick welcome to “the beautiful city.” After that, he was never seen or heard from again.
My guess is that the tower changed plans on the pilot mid-landing. Or he woke up after the autopilot landed the plane and sounded an alarm that it was his turn to take over.
Either way, here I sit believing the event to be providential.
Yes, I’m giving thanks that we’re all alive. And I’m equally appreciative that no other planes were near enough to ours to become endangered by the hasty turn. But I’m also grateful that the pace of that turn most likely shaved a few seconds off the arrival time to our final destination. Essentially, it allowed for me to arrive at the liquor store near the home in which we vacation just in time to snatch this solitary bottle of The Macallan 12-year-old Sherry Oak Cask from the shelf before another fellow came along looking to do the same.
“Excellent,” I said, smiling at the proprietor and reaching up to take the bottle. “I’ve had every edition on your shelves except this one. This one is new.”
“That’s just the bottle I came here for!” came the sound of a disheartened gent behind me.
“Sorry, friend,” I turned in reply. “I almost died today. This one’s mine.”
And so here I sit with dram in hand, watching the kids swimming in the pool—and it’s a fine little whisky for such a pleasurable moment.
An initial nosing of this 12-year-old is rich with dark chocolates, and of course, warming sherry. There is a passing moment of vinegar, but after a minute or two, with a swirl and a sniff, all is followed by black raspberries and coffee.
The palate takes a hard left away from its sweeter runway to a spicier path of a cinnamon and citrus.
The finish is superb. It brings its passengers into a gentle docking with the barrel oak, a dash of crushed almonds, and an extremely distant char.
Again, this is the perfect near-death-experience whisky for any among us. Although, as I re-read what I just wrote, I suppose most any whisky has the potential for being a celebratory dram in such circumstances.
Unless it’s Scoresby. I’d rather be dead in a ditch full of alligators than drink Scoresby.