Interlude: Road Trip Roundtable #2 (Pappy Surprise)
It had a sweet, mellow aroma. The caramel color was deep, rich, and tantalizingly confirmed it’s stated age: 20 years. A deep, open-mouthed breath drew tickles of flavor: toffee, caramel, even buttercream and vanilla. It, by all outward indications, was the greatest bourbon we had ever encountered.
With the gentle clinking of glasses we drew our arms back, smiled, and sipped.
With the softest of whispers the smooth, rich liquor was, for the briefest of moments, the nectar of Ambrosia. Fully flavored and smoother than any to come beforehand, this bourbon was the culmination of our journey.
Would it only go downhill from here, this peak of peaks among fantastic bourbons? That was our question.
“As for alcohol consumption?” Steve asked. “Yes.”
“So you really think so?” I pursued.
“For the purposes of the trip Pappy’s is away. I’ll enjoy Blanton’s, Weller, Four Roses Single Barrel, but they’re youngsters. They don’t compare to Pappy Van WInkle.” Steve confirmed.
“It’s like trying to have an intellectual conversation with a seven year old,” Shawn elaborated, then continued, “It’s just not gonna happen.”
‘It’s not going to reach the same level.” Steve nodded in agreement.
I quizzed in, “So how about you, Brendan. You’ve barely had anything to drink in your life.”
“Well, I’m pretty much screwed. Taking in something really nice and not even being able to truly appreciate it now makes it hard to follow up right.”
“I started on Johnny Walker Red, but when I see the Blue and the Green I appreciate them so much more now. To put it in Magic terms, you can’t start with the deck of all rares and expect the same satisfaction from decks of all commons and uncommons.” Steve adjoined.
“I guess I should be glad I started with bad liquor and even worse beer. I like midlevel and rail alcohol just fine, but stuff like Pappy’s is so unreal and I know it. This was absolutely the best straight bourbon, and probably the best straight alcohol, I’ve had.”
The conversation abruptly ended with the lighting of cigars and new drinks being poured. The journey’s high may have passed but we were still pretty far up even on the way back down.