Rain pelts the area, drenching all that it touches. I stare up at a house that costs more money than my family has ever seen. Will ever see.
A peel of lightning shows more and more of it. A ramshackle building, oppressing the land with it’s presence. I continue through the rain, knocking against the heavy door.
It peels open, a small man standing there, beckoning me in with crooked fingers. He glances at the sky once I am in, and a slam of the door encapsulates the lights.
“Do you have it?” he grunts, and leaves, without an answer.
“I… I’m here for something called the Howdying?”
No answer. Just more lightning. A laugh comes from above me, and I climb the stairs to an impossible height.
As I turn the corner, the sight of a sheet and many beakers shakes my core. I don’t know what I’m into, and before I know it, a glencairn is in my hands.
“It’ll be a long night without this”
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Project: Red Tape
Bottle No.: 222/480
Finishing Time: 5 Months
Finishing Cask: Rhône
Colour: 2.5YR 4/10
Nose: Strawberry, pickle, caramel, grass, lemon, wood
Foreign aromas mix with familiar friends. For a second the room spins, and then I’m back. The little man with crooked hands smiles. It seems… unnatural.
Yet it seems like a good plan. Why does he have a pickle, I wonder? “Thanks, smells nice”
Taste: Dill, red licorice, butter, rosemary, chilli
He beckons me to drink eventually. I sip, and again things change. The house is now wood paneled. There’s nice, boring paintings on the walls. And back again, the night is back.
The little man is now moving aside some liquids. Lightning illuminates his work, crackling in his glass jars.
Finish: Wood, mace, dry, wheat
I swallow, hoping that I will not be in the jars soon. The dry throatiness of the odd situation doesn’t change this time; all is as it is. Short beats happen, and then nothing. I drink more, yet there is no change.
Conclusion: I leave, feeling awkward, forgetting why I ever really came. The Howdying has left me lost. This doesn’t seem like an American whiskey. It borrows from beyond, adding an odd character to the whole thing. While I applaud the ingenuity, I wonder if this mad mixture is too unnatural.
Guess: George Dickel Rye
Actually: Big Bottom Bourbon Warehouse Series Rhone Cask (Red Tape)
Bourbon review #116, Oregon review #4, Whiskey Network review #713