Benedictine Single Cask Liqueur
Anyone who knows me, or reads the drivel I write, knows that I'm not often at a loss for words. This Benedictine so stunned me, though, that I was unable to describe it. All I wanted to do was have more.
You'll all be pleased to know that I got over it, and am now able to provide words with my usual logorrhea, however poor they may be at fully explaining how good this liqueur was.
The Benedictine Single Cask Liqueur, as far as I can determine, is still unreleased and unavailable in the U.S. And I have no idea what their plans are.
I've had it twice now: once from an internet journalist who received a preview sample, and again just recently courtesy of a bootlegged bottle luggaged back from a trip to England and Scotland by a bartender who wanted to get first hand knowledge of London Dry Gin and Single Malt Scotch and discovered this along the way.
The Benedictine Single Cask, billed as a "Very Fine Dry Liqueur", is just that. It is also subtle, elegant, delicately but profusely flavored (oxymoronic as that might sound) with the most intriguing and beguiling botanicals unobscured by too much sugar. This is a liqueur with a half-life, slowly trickling out scents and flavors that tease and tantalize right at the threshold of your awareness in what seems a never-ending sequeunce.
It's a liqueur I doubt you could ever get to the bottom of. And certainly not in one small serving.
I'm already a fan of the monastic liqueurs, both Benedictine and Chartreuse (more the green than the somewhat anemic yellow), and this version of the Benedictine represents the highest and grandest expression of botanically-driven liqueurs that ever I've had.
So seek this one out. Look for it when you travel abroad. Hope that it eventually makes its way to this country so you can score a bottle. Don't worry about how much it costs (quite frankly, I expect it will be an ultra-premium price, as it should be). Doesn't matter. Just get a bottle.
You'll be glad you did. And then you'll be sorry you didn't get two when you had the chance. And if you manage to get three, remember your old drinking buddy Hoke for turning you on to this most excellent of liqueurs.