There is a national holiday for that! A day that encourages all of us, to stop looking at that beautiful bottle we bought for a special occasion, but for some reason or another the occasion was never special enough. It is for this reason that a holiday was created, Open That Bottle Day (February 29th)!
I guess the truth is that we should find a reason to be grateful everyday. But to be more specific to be grateful for the relationships that make our lives so vibrant is really what should be celebrated. That is what this day is really about. There are certain bottles that seem to be created just for these moments of sharing and jubilation.
So, if you are looking for a reason to crack a special cork on that perfect bottle and share it with those you hold nearest, February 29th is your day.
Balvenie 21 year Portwood
Elegance and well defined accuracy of varied aromas including dried fruit and nut filled granola bars. Dried cranberries lead to sweeter macadamia nuts, spent coffee grounds and fine upholstered leather.
At first taste the nut aromas inflate to the permeation of an NYC nut cart on 5th Ave. Forest floor mingles intricately with weathered wood and old attic. It is engulfed with a subtle port sweetness that playfully mixes with black pepper, cinnamon, and allspice, all of which wraps the mouth in a weighty lush velvet.
As this dram closes out the mouthfeel slowly creeps away leaving acute hazelnut and dark chocolates with just the slightest touch of the dried fruits that started this journey off.
Elijah Craig 18 year
The first thing to note is that this aroma clearly shows versatility in Bourbon, it pulls away from standard issue caramel and vanilla. Rather it leaps above the rest with a penetrating dark amber maple syrup, the spice detracts from the dominance of maple and reveals fresh baked apple fritters coated in icing. Black pepper seems to underpin the experience as it draws you closer.
In the mouth, the texture is enlightening as it drapes over the tongue and gently waves with a firm but comforting and assured alcohol content. Spice seems to spark everywhere but not just clove and nutmeg but rather some vegetal spice of Bayleaf and Herbs de Provence, brings this sip to a level of depth not often experienced.
At close, this Bourbon leaves on a high note, the shadows of Maple Syrup still linger but with added spots of orange zest and menthol, and spearmint.
Redbreast 21 year
This is a fruit basket. Papaya and bright summer fruits sprint forward with abandon. As the brightness flickers off, the remnants of Thanksgiving are left wafting about with fresh baked apple pies, baked stuffing with herbal highlights, and a tartness of crushed cranberry similarity.
At first taste the fruit dissipates to reveal an inflated warming oak that fills the mouth revealing underlying spice, coconut husk, and soft spice, not unlike the Samoa Girl Scout cookie.
As this delightful sip ends, light chocolates, and tropical fruit give way to the cereals that give this dram such an exceptional structure.
However, if the bottle is just too dear to you, and you want to share it with no one, then at least raise a glass to a picture of someone you can tolerate, and try to be a little less greedy going forward.