Water of Life


I’ve always found scotch drinkers to be just the least big smug. Not surprising, their elitism, when you discover that the early distillers of the time were learned people including monks and university scholars. A breed apart, they exuded God, gravitas, intellectualism and well-formed judgments tempered with time, patience, and study. All things academic and monastic seemed their purview. From hushed monasteries to ancient citadels of learning draped in shrouds of ivy, matters of heaven and earth, serious thought and lofty discourse comprised the more pressing issues of the day.

So steeped in history is the “water of life,” that when a flutter of excitement is making its way through lounges and salons throughout the land, it is worthy of a blogging note. Thus when I learned of this award winning scotch blend hailed as a combination of the “finest single malt and the best single grain whiskies” matured in sherry casks for over thirty years, it was akin to discovering a long lost dissertation on spirits that had just recently been unearthed.

Behold Black Bull, the true connoisseur’s idea of studied perfection.

Bottled by Duncan Taylor & Company, out of Huntly, Scotland, with an estimated retail value of $199, (the economies of Scotch prevent frequent purchase among the ceaselessly inebriated) the first batch to arrive on these shores will be limited to 600 bottles.

Who among us can resist an unrehearsed swoon over a color described as a “chestnut hue” with “a sweet nose of chocolate, Turkish delight, stewed rhubarb, and lime pickle. The flavor, full with rich sherry notes, has a surprising gentleness with accents of red fruits and a finish of a slight cinnamon note.” One wonders if before raising your glass, you might try dabbing a spot behind the ears and knees for good measure.

Sheathed in recherche trappings that Homer would have coveted, the completely natural elixir is perfectly packaged with an original painting of a black bull, naturally, by Scottish artist Angela Davidson.

At a time when the martini and all its ‘tini’ permutations have turned our eye and our palates elsewhere (we are a fickle lot, no?), there is much to be said for the time-honored traditions of the aged and erudite. Or the notorious, for that matter. It is rumored that the last words uttered by film hero, Humphrey Bogart, lamented his dalliance with that “other” cocktail:

“I should have never switched from

Scotch to Martinis.”


Photography: Courtesy of Black Bull Whiskey




~ by eaesthete on 08/15/09.

3 Responses to “Water of Life”

  1. But it’s a blend! Need to find a bar that will pour us a shot. Strictly for educational purposes, of course.

  2. The universe of single malts is awesome to behold. I tend to cast a raised eyebrow over mixing them together. But my father-in-law is writing a book on single malt whisky and I have access to his collection of some 300 bottles. I may be just the least jaded when I say that there are really good single malts and even better ones. This might make a good cocktail though…

    I hope that’s not too much bull for a comment.

    • Not at all. I find the drinking of scotch and the discussion of its properties as close as one can get to a religious experience. And purists abound on the topic of contamination. Fascinating that your father-in-law has chosen to pen his thoughts on this widely discussed and frequently argued subject. Do let us know of its publication.

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