She Knows the Taste of Fire!
  • She Knows the Taste of Fire!

Sarah Mirk, from what I understand, is not that much of a drinker. The last time I was in her presence while she was imbibing, she was a mean drunk, as if the alcohol were eating away the kind, giddy, earnest exterior to reveal her darker nature.

When it came time to taste the local whiskeys for this week’s feature, I thought it would be fun to include Sarah—just to see what would happen. The problem was I had too many tasters and too little space.

There was no way I was going to cut myself from the piece, because, c’mon… And Frank Cassano has major dirt on someone higher-up, so I couldn’t cut him. I owe Ned money. And Nami’s a roller derby girl, and I find her threatening. So, no Sarah.

But I couldn’t let you, Blogtownies, live your lives without reading Sarah’s thoughts on the local whiskeys. Check it, after the jump.

Let me set the scene: The first thing Sarah says when she sits down in the break room, in front of the bottles, is “I feel like I’m going to puke already.” She is no fan of whiskey. “It tastes like drain cleaner and makes me vomit,” she says.

I pour her first taste: Rogue’s Dead Guy Whiskey. She sniffs, she sips, she recoils; her face contorts and scrunches up. It looks like she's being assaulted by some otherworldly invisible being.

Here, then, are her thoughts as they occurred:

Rogue, Dead Guy Whiskey

[sniffs] Umm. I’d say it smells kinda chemical. Like a dark room with one candle. And there’s also a hint of caramel. Now do I drink it? [sips, coughs] My first impression is a hot like spiky feeling. It makes your mouth really hot. Now it’s settling down and getting warmer. It reminds me of really old pickles. Not for the flavor, but the bite. It goes from being a house fire, to a warm blanket. [sips again] It really hurts. Now my tongue is kinda numb.

House Spirits, Straight Whiskey

[sniffs] Uhh. I’m getting a bit of dirt or plant smell. Still musty, but more like old plants. Like the way dead plants smell. It’s got a kind of sweet caramel smell. This reminds me of an old house, of dead plants. [sips] There was some sort of flavor before it turns to the burning. It has a thin trail. At the end instead of being warm it’s spiky. It’s more spiky all the way through. I dunno, maybe something like capers. For some reason the image of a fish keeps coming to mind. Reminds me of something that’s been blackened. Like char.

McMenamins’, Hogshead

[sniffs] Smells cleaner. Like, airy. Like a crisp horizon in the Midwest when it’s a really straight line and cold and clear. It’s a much less strong aroma. It’s a little sweet like the other ones, but it’s also acidic, and has a cat urine sub layer under the caramel. [sips] This one starts out smooth, then it gets really hot, and it diminishes like its embers are going down… But it’s lingering. [sips and coughs] Umm. It reminds me of an old wood-burning stove. Like an old, smoky, wood flavor. It tastes different from the smell.

Clear Creek, McCarthy’s Single Malt

I think I’m getting drunk. [sniffs] Oh! This one smells weird. Like an old sofa. With lots of doghair on it, and like, shoes. There’s a burning rubber element going on there. I’m getting a strong musty smell. [sips] Ahhhhhh, it’s terrible. Yeah. That’s like licking a fire log. It’s weird cause it starts out with nothing at all and then swooshes across your mouth with this old burned food flavor. This is what a house would taste like after it burned down. Definitely an ashy campfire kind of flavor. Is that enough? Oh-KAY! I think I’m done.