I entered into a state of wonderment this past weekend. This feeling had an intensity of being an almost out-of-body experience. So, what gave me this feeling? One whisky. The number one whisky of my life.
This whisky is sixty years old. Six-zero. At the Victoria Whisky Fest in Victoria, British Columbia, Michael Urquhart favored me with a wee dram of Glen Grant’s 1952 The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.
As I prepared to sample this 60-year-old whisky, I imagined it as a woman. I had expected to receive a broken-down, toothless crone, with a leathery scent. Instead, her perfume was still soft and sweet, with a hint of orange and no wrinkle in its fragrance. At the first sip, I helloed a bright, ballet teacher. Her movements, like the flavor, were gentle and fluid. Her spirit was supple, the movements of a young woman, yet with the sophisticated grace of maturity.
As I savored this beautiful whisky, I reflected on another woman: Queen Elizabeth II. This whisky was distilled days before she ascended the throne, hence the whisky’s name, and decanted on its 60th anniversary. A World War II veteran, this woman vowed to devote her life in the service to her country and people. She didn’t ask for this job. In her twilight years, and in the unblinking glare of public scrutiny, this woman endeavors still.
A real woman and an imagined woman. How very similar.