Last night as I poured the last of a bottle of Highland Park 12, I felt a pang of sorrow. I'd had the bottle around for a couple years after receiving it as a birthday gift so I had gotten used to its presence. Also, Highland Park is one of my favorite distilleries. Like all the finest Scotch makers, their range demonstrates equal parts rock-solid consistency and never-ending fascination in each sip.
As I drank that last glass, I held each sip on my mouth, paying close attention to every nuance. The spicy entrance, the wood and fruit middle ground, and finally the honeyed finish, which lingered as much in the nose as in the mouth. It was, to put it simply, a damned good glass of Scotch.
Next morning, the empty bottle was still there but I saw it quite differently. Rather than representing the lack of whisky, I saw it as evidence of a full life. While I hadn't guzzled its contents, neither had I hoarded them, waiting for some idealized moment. Instead, I had put the Highland Park in a fairly steady rotation with the other drinks in my bar, enjoying each glass, especially the ones I shared with others.
I'm going to take these thoughts to heart, and I urge other liquor enthusiasts to do the same. These amazing liquids are meant to be drank, enjoyed and shared - so don't be too hesitant to crack the seal on that special bottle. Besides, as the kids are all saying: YOLO!