61.2%, @angels_portion, a'bunadh, aberlour, angelsportion, family, florida, ireland, jameson, lawyer, litigation, lutheran, madeline, minister, palm trees, pastor, pool, rejuvenation, rest, review, scotch, sunshine, thoma, vacation, Whiskey, whisky
The Florida sun was beaming. The sky was blue. Our vacation was unfolding as pristinely as so many before it.
“So,” the eager parent began curiously, working to get the attention of all four of the children, “your dad and I were thinking about taking the family somewhere other than Florida next year for vacation.”
“Where?!” all four called out simultaneously. Three seemed enthused. One was suspicious.
“How about we try going out of the country?” I asked.
“Like where?” Josh replied, eagerly.
“We were thinking some place like Ireland,” Jennifer said, intoning her words as if she’d given the big reveal on a reality show.
But before the others could speak, the most routine-oriented child in the bunch seized the tenor of the conversation.
“Are there palm trees is Ireland?” Madeline asked, her expression and forward-leaning posture already betraying her thoughts on the matter.
“No,” her mother answered.
“Will there be a swimming pool for us in Ireland?” Madeline continued.
“Probably not,” Jennifer added.
“So, just to be clear, will there be palm trees beside our own private pool in Ireland?” the young girl finalized, ending the conversation having covered all angles of her concern and the concerns she knows are shared by at least two others of her siblings.
“No, Madeline, there won’t be palm trees beside any private pools.”
“Then, there you have it,” she concluded, folding her arms and leaning back in her chair with satisfaction. Her grin revealed a confidence that the adults’ case against her client, Florida, could not meet the burden of proof, and she’d more than cemented reasonable doubt in the mind of the jurors.
Madeline knows what she wants when it comes to the prospect of “family vacation.” She wants palm trees. She wants sunshine. She wants heat. She wants to see bright-beaming flora and daily afternoon rainstorms. She wants a private pool with just her family and no one else. She wants pretty much everything that Florida has offered her ever since she was little. And quite brilliantly, her strategy for defending this routine was to go straight for the jugular of our idea’s unknowns, being sure that the first comparison to any existential plan that didn’t involve Florida was met by the tangibles of our immediate surroundings.
“Look around, folks,” were the essentials of her words. “Ireland won’t be anything like this.”
Well played, Madeline.
And yet, her argument disregarded the realm of possibility for fresh joys somewhere else. Possibility is born from the sphere of imagination. The members of the jury—her siblings—exist in that sphere. All I needed to do was unpack the possibilities, and present a counter narrative of exciting possibilities.
But I didn’t. And why? Because I’m like Madeline and Madeline is like me. I like routine. I like familiar. I like the security that familiar brings. Every time we go to Florida, while each trip is a little different, the expected rejuvenation is always so wonderfully consistent.
The various editions of the Aberlour A’bunadh are the same, which is probably why I like the whisky rendition so much. No matter the batch, it never misses the mark.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed a fair number of the various A’bunadh batches, and for the most part, they remain true to the first I ever tried. I know that each batch does have its cult—some more so than others—but again, for the most part, each one continues in the footsteps of the one that came before it, reassuring the consumer that he or she is about to meet up with something enjoyably familiar.
At 61.2% ABV, the nose of Batch 56 is piercingly ornate. It streams up like the decorative fountain in front of your favorite vacation resort, rich in sherry, chocolate, and cinnamon.
I drink my cask strength whiskies without water in order to get the full effect. That being said, this one struts with a full bloom of singeing spices peppered into a lava-thick sauce of cherries and vanilla
The finish is long. If anyone else out in the whisky world claims it is medium or short, then either they’re lying or they have a paralyzed tongue. There’s no mistaking the staying power of this candied firebomb of whisky joy.
My guess is that Batch 57 will be just as wonderful as the fifty-six batches that came before it. Although, one unforgettably bad batch and I could end up with a Jameson in my hand.
But not in Ireland. In Florida.