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This Ardbegian dram is very nearly perfect, aside from an underwhelming ABV. I sipped a glass yesterday while I supped, and scribbled down some tasting notes on a napkin upon a rather splintery picnic table.
Since The Beast is so hard to come by these days, I treasured the moment as a "second coming" of Ardbeg's miraculous nectar into my life. Let's hope it's not the last.
Nose: Charcoal, creamery butter, calk dust, BBQ chicken, sage.
Palate: Lovely peat presence, Allspice, dark chocolate, Orange Crush, woodstove fire smoke and creosote, hint of the sea.
Finish: Turkey jerky, BBQ potato chips, fading peat, smelling salts, sea salt, vanilla bean, chickory.
"The Second Coming"
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Above poem by Ireland's wwn William Butler Yeats: Notorious member of The Golden Dawn Occult Society, who, no doubt, was not thinking of the Baby Jesus or the Messiah's triumphant return to earth when he penned the above poem.
Let's face it: Ardbeg's Beast is no angel, despite all of the talk of "angel's shares" in the industry among distillers. Then again, Old Testament angels weren't partial to playing softball or strumming on harps with their flaming swords and bolts of fire. Still, I tend to think of whisky as Old Bendy's provenance. 1974, indeed.