Bad PA Whiskey Review by Mike S.
Booze Reviews AP The Master of All Evil announced that he was abandoning the trite and repetitive ‘666’ as the official Satanic number and instead adopting the slicker, more modern ‘720’ in it's place. His first use of this new Number of Evil was apparently to label a 12 year old cask of Scotch from the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society, which I myself have had the honor of receiving just this past evening. I have sampled this Luciferian distillation, known as SMWS Cask 720, and retain enough of my sensibility to report on it here. Upon first glance, the liquid has the appearance of the fresh urine of patient restricted to a diet of only to water and lemon Jell-O. The pleasantries end there though. The nose is reminiscent of oven cleaner, with notes of Pine Sol and warm tar. First contact with the lips is a chemical burn of the most delicate and fleeting sort, presumably because nerve tissue is quickly consumed by the reagent. In flavor, Cask 720 brings forth a difficult to banish, almost chewy, evocation of burning tires in a summer slum fire, and that common childhood mistake of confusing the hydrochloric acid on the garage shelf for a secret stash of lemonade. This author posits that the burning portion of the bouquet may not be wholly the responsibility of 720, but in reality a synergistic aromatic component of the experience whose genesis lies instead in the nose hairs the consumer has just lost to spontaneous self-combustion. The finish matches exactly the sensation of rinsing Listerine out of one’s mouth with hot water instead of cold. For anyone who has never done this, I highly recommend trying it at least once, just for the experiential value. In closing this review of Cask 720, I will say that where Cask 1025 was characterized as a ‘gentle mugging of the palette’, Cask 720 is an outright beating and carjacking. This is Mike Slater for Scotch World News, wishing you a good day, and good Scotch. I have been warned not to publish this, but you know me....a warning is kinda like a yellow light... Badly, a Rye This past weekend, we had the distinct displeasure to sample Bluebird Distillery’s “White Rye Whiskey”. It is never advisable to ignore the finely honed survival instincts bred into our hominid ancestors over millions of years of evolution, but that's what we did. Looking at the bartered-hobo-plasma-colored liquid in the squat bottle, we acknowledged that it came from a "distillery" (we're not actually sure what they managed to ‘distill’...as the word itself implies the removal of impurities, and not their seeming gleeful injection...) in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Phoenixville. Let that sink in. This is a town well known for being a strange hybrid of quaint colonial architecture housing trendy cafes, and a bland urban slum, with the town taking more after one parent than the other. The fact that Phoenixville sits on the Schuylkill river would explain some of the flavors I am about to describe, if EPA statues and possibly the Geneva convention didn't strongly prohibit the use of any part of that body of water for human consumption. We knew where it came from, and we drank it anyway. Darwin rolled in his grave. Or, at least his eyes did. I'm quite sure. Being a rye (allegedly) this product has a surprising nose that strongly invokes...corn. Not the golden crop whose stout ears are the darling sideshow of family cookouts - but the sort that is an unwanted growth on the foot a short order cook operating out of an unlicensed food cart in the basement of a New Jersey sports complex. We inhaled the warning vapors...we knew it was from Phoenixville, and we drank it anyway. It was...difficult. Personally, I hesitated. My pallet is cultured. I've cultivated it. I'm proud of it; and I knew, at a primal level what this would do to me. I hesitated. I noted the reactions of my courageous compatriots. And, I drank it anyway. The waiting made it worse. My crime against myself is greater, because I went last, and went anyway. I was the fourth monkey who watched the other three stick their heads in the alligator's mouth, flop spasming away - hands flailing at the spurting stumps of their necks - and followed suit regardless. Stupid monkey. Good Christ, and all the saints in a Heaven of which I am now less sure...it was unbearable. After the merest sip, I put it down. I say "I" put it down, but I am not sure it was entirely a conscious process. My hand put it down, surely. My mind, though, was momentarily wiped clean. As if anesthetized preparatory to an invasive and unpleasant bowel procedure...I've no idea where the next several seconds went. I think our brains have some mechanism designed to protect us from remembering such things. I think maybe the quadrillions of gut bacteria whose existence I could not have further threatened had I been chugging an amoxicillin and bleach milkshake (if only)..rebelled. They revealed their status in that moment, as the pilots of these fleshy shells we call bodies - and literally forced my hand to descend, glass clutched in a non-metaphorical death grip, to the table. It was minutes before I could continue. That my embarrassment at my gustatory cowardice should have eventually trumped my will to continue living is testament enough to the infernal power of this spirit. Gentle reader, you have stayed with me thus far, so I feel obligated to tell you the part of the tale that should satisfy your schadenfreude for a good long while. I shall describe the taste as best I’m able…. At first, as the noisome fumes dissipate – there is nothing. Almost, one’s own spirit leaps with elation at such luck; but then, with the inevitability of runaway waste hauler, it hits. The initial pallet is what will turn out to be mercifully akin to liquid pencil shavings. Still, for a sliver a heartbeat, you thank your guardian angel. And then he flees, shrieking, wings in flames and trailing a greasy black vapor. Popcorn is next. Popcorn peeled from between the boot treads of a state trooper raiding an adult theater. No sooner can you begin to categorize the horror you’ve just imbibed, than is it followed by burnt rubber, used latex, and…turpentine? Tar remover? They come at you like the fast sort of zombies popular in European horror movies. Like decomposing SWAT police stacked up at a doorway, awaiting only Corporal Pencil Shaving to breach the room, they pile in. I choked. I stopped. I could not do otherwise. I sat and stared first at the glass in my sweating fist, and then the unassuming bottle from which its contents had come. The aftermath was almost indescribable. The sounds of disbelief and dismay from around the table were universal. More than one of us suggested that the rest of the liquid be further consumed immediately …by fire. Though it was my own home, I thought. “Yes. Now. Right now. In this room” It was not an unreasonable thought. Truly. There were clues on the label. The first, regarding this spirit’s provenance, we have discussed. But, further our bottle says “Batch 4, Bottle 209”. It is conceivable that someone could, track down the remaining thousand bottles or so – and destroy them. If you are prone to suggestion – you have your mission. At batch Four, of course it would not yet be refined. What in name of Hell’s princes must the first three have been like? Lastly, the back label states, in discordantly proud capitals "AGED IN OAK FOR ONE DAY". Usually, aging in a wooden barrel is referred to as “finishing” – a process minimally measured in months, and more often years. I can only assume that mere oak cannot withstand this vile ichor for longer, and disintegrates. One day is not a finishing process - so it would be wholly accurate to call this product “unfinished”. I suspect that it shall remain so, in the furthest corner of my shelf, possibly forever. Aesthetes and connoisseurs, we bid you warning; and better drink. Aghast, Scribe to the Third Floor Hobos, incorrigibly intrepid imbibers