Aberlour HSMSW 16-year; Aberlour Distillery Company.; Scotland; $80/btl
This week’s write-up is both very special and very depressing. Most of my readers will not understand the context, and certainly might disagree with the religious overtones, but I am not going to hold back simply because some of you don’t understand. it’s okay. I won’t hold it against you.
So, as part of my religious faith, I honor God’s commanded Feast of Tabernacles. Once every year, in the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar, God commands that His chosen people travel to a designated place and celebrate a feast before Him for seven days. Say what? you ask? An annual feast!?!
Yes. It’s like a vacation, but with religion!
For those of us who do celebrate this Feast of Tabernacles before God, it becomes the most anticipated time of the entire year. We set aside ten percent of our income for the entire year for just this seven-day period, and we get to use it for “whatever your soul desires” (Deu 14:26). For a nice vacation home, for delicious food, for great wine, and — you guessed it — great whiskey!
Sometimes as we navigate our way through this difficult life, we find things that we want, but cannot afford. It might be something big and beyond our reach no matter what (a vacation in Bora Bora, pehaps?) or it may be something that is just within range maybe once a year. And once per year there are certain things that are within reach for those who faithfully save our 2nd tithe for use at this Feast of Tabernacles. For me, one of those things is a great bottle of whiskey. Not the drink-a-day $20/per stuff, but the nice, $100+ top-shelf whiskies that beckon to us from, well, the top shelf.
When I attend the Feast, sometimes I buy one or two or three of these things (depending on how blessed I am through the year). And, sometimes I mark one of these bottles with two letters: FW. “FW” stands for “Feast Whiskey”, and Feast Whiskey can only be consumed during one fo God’s annual Feasts (there are seven of them, but that is not the purpose of this blog). I literally do not drink it any other time. I reserve said bottles for special occasions, and those occasions are not designated by me, they are designated by God. That’s it. Deuteronomy 14:26 continues by saying, “for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires.”
Whiskey is “strong drink”, right?
Several years ago — and I forget the year — my family and I were attending the Feast of Tabernacles in the Bend, Oregon area (we were staying in Sun River). On the way into town we dropped into the liquor store and a bottle jumped out at me. The first scotch I really enjoyed was the Glenlivet 12-year. The second was Aberlour 12. Aberlour stood out to me as the scotch whisky. Brilliant in absolutely every way. And that particular year its older brother jumped into my arms.
So, Aberlour 16 is this weeks topic. And man, is this a nice whisky. Smooth, glorious, and start-the-truck-and-go-off-roading bold! It is loaded with caramel and oak and apricot and fire all the way down the throat. 16 years this stuff sat around and begged for me to try it, and now the bottle I sip from is better than 20 years beyond the harvest. Its glorious amber glow just demands respect, and I respect it just enough to dump it down the hatch! Man, I tell you it’s nice.
It isn’t cheap, though. $80-plus in most locales, more in others. I’ve had this bottle under the house for years while I waited for Ken’s Bar to become a reality, and there’s only about three shots drained. Which means I still have about $70 worth of good booze left in there. Considering I pop the bottle about once a year and have maybe one drink, I expect it will be around well into the immediate future. And a good thing, too, because big things come to those who wait!
So, why this topic now? Well, the Feast of Tabernacles 2021 begins tomorrow evening, September 20. As I type this it is September 19. I was supposed to be in Steamboat Springs, Colorado enjoying the Feast with my family and the extended group of fellow believers that I call family. But that is not the case. Instead, I type this from my keyboard at home, unable to attend this year’s Feast because COVID has struck my beloved wife. We are quarantined, and we must remain home.
When I was looking over the bar to determine what I would select for the write-up, I really wasn’t in the mood. I mean, who would be? It’s been a rough year filled with human political nonsense and loss of life, and I was really looking forward to the Feast and the physical/spiritual reset it provides. Depression is a funny thing, and sometimes a little reminiscing can really pick you up. So, I looked up there in the far upper left corner and there was Aberlour 16 with those two letters — FW — written on the label in Sharpie black, and I knew.
So, that all said, I give praise to God for His blessings, His love, His mercy, and His whisky. After all, He is the author of Whisk(e)y. We have only recently discovered it. So, Rejoice!
And may we all find peace in this crazy world.
Aberlour Single Malt Scotch Whisky 16-year
Who is this guy?
I'm just an average, ordinary, everyday Ken, and nothing more. I like wine, whiskey, and beer. I write when I'm bored (and to prove it I've published three books). I like to garden, work with wood, and laugh with family and friends. Ken's Bar is an expression of my enjoyment of adult beverages of all shapes and sizes, but especially whiskey. My tasting notes are as much about stories and connections with people as they are about fluffy, snobbish adjectives. I've tasted a lot of whiskey (including the costs-way-too-much Rip Van Winkle stuff) and decided to start writing about it. Or something. So, sit back and read. If you can.
How do I rank?
Cost per Bottle:
$ - $0-$25
$$ - $26-$50
$$$ - $51-$75
$$$$ - $76-$100
$$$$$ - Over $100
* - Swill. Dump it out.
** - Mix it with coke
*** - A good sipper
**** - Straight from Heaven.
***** - Heaven called and wants its whiskey back!
Shoot me an email with comments, suggestions, or hate mail!