I received a Facebook message from a fellow pastor who suggested that I spend more time writing about theology and less about whisky. He appreciated the hymn study postings and he delighted in the sermons offered thus far, but he was a little put-off by the scotch devotion. He suggested that mixing the two was a little unsavory and could be offensive. After first asking him if he had converted to the Baptist branch, I followed with the reminder that Lutherans are not pietists. Even more so, when Lutherans are pressed into a box, that’s when they kick back and rebel. For example–the Reformed church began insisting that it was required of the presiding minister while speaking the Verba during the Lord’s Supper that he snap the bread at the words “when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples…” The Lutherans used to break the bread. After that, they refused.
So what does this have to do with The Dalmore 12-Year-Old? Nothing. Everything. Something, I guess. It means I was just encouraged to forego receiving a gift from God that I enjoy and sharing my enthusiastic thanksgiving with others. Simply put, I humbly and evangelically refuse.
Now, I’m sure he will read this with arms folded and a crookedly surprised smile, but his smile is good enough for me. It is a relative opening to offer this Lutheran brother the opportunity to acknowledge that perhaps it is that God has blessed the Scots with a divine beverage while the Lutherans received the better theology. And with that theology comes the benefit of serving in churches full of Christians who know they aren’t pietists…that is, unless they are being slow-boiled by a pastor who is living, breathing, and preaching pietism and then secretly enjoying the gifts in solitude for fear that his preaching may actually be taking root. Not here, brother. Those chains are self-imposed. I intend to remain free.
So with that being said (and hopefully without causing offense), the Lutheran clergy have the freedom to enjoy the likes of this wonderful edition from The Dalmore. It is, as I began, best shared…in the open…from considerable heights even (wink-wink)…with friends.
The nose is delightful–thick with sherry and vanilla. The palate is so easy and smooth, fulfilling the promise made by the nose and delivering vanilla with the presence of delicate spice–not harsh–but gentle and perhaps even fruity. The finish waves goodbye with a smile and tiptoes behind you to remind you that you are invited to return anytime. With such friendliness, the bottle’s contents disappear rapidly. In fact, as a side note, this whisky is so wonderfully gentle that even if by some freakish accident you get some in your eyes (which of course has not happened to me), it doesn’t burn. It just becomes one more way to laugh with friends and rejoice in the gifts.
The cost is surprisingly pleasant, at around $50.
To wrap up, I suppose I should reconsider my disregard for the prodding tag of my pietist friend. The more the pietists discover their freedom, the less whisky for the rest of us. So with that, brother, forget everything I said. Whisky is sinful and bad. Very sinful. Very bad. Have a Coke and smile instead.