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Dawn and Dusk and a New Sun Every Day

“The sun is new every day.” - Heraclitus

I first experienced what would become Dawn and Dusk while we were just beginning to pull samples and taste through them. At that point it was a selection of mock ups, some with the spirit that went into the Haak Madeira casks when we first got them, still wet with wine. Another group with the spirit that went in later, after the burliest wine notes had been extracted. I was immediately captivated by the elements the two shared despite the fact they were very different in most respects.

And even now, after they are finished and bottled, I think the fascinating quality is all the threads that tie the two together even as so many attributes diverge. The white, underripe cherry notes on Dawn become dark and soft black cherry notes on Dusk. The sticky sage oil notes on Dusk lighten into a hint of sage blossoms on Dawn. Difference and continuity.

“No man can step into the same river twice” claimed the ancient philosopher Heraclitus. The water flows to the sea. In moments, the river is not the same. All things change. A bit notional but that’s philosophy for you. And yet, it’s true of whisky casks. New make went into these same casks twice and came out different each time. On the outside, nothing looked different. The number on the head was still the same. The hoops and staves were in place. But they had changed. Sugar and tannin and spice had been pulled from the wood. New spirit had seeped into the staves. So the whisky that went in the second time could not be the same.

But just as we can see and feel the same river over and over again despite Heraclitus’ philosophizing, so too can we taste the same notes from the wine and wood that make up these casks. Maybe the fruit notes lighten from one spirit to the next, but they’re still there. An herbal quality fades, but not entirely. The river has changed, but it still flows.

Both of these whiskies are excellent and would stand on their own merit just fine. But it’s the ability to compare them side by side that make this release truly special. What has changed? What is the same? Or, if that’s too much Greek philosophy, can I just have another dram?


ABV: 58%

Nose: Peachy and floral. Peach schnapps and honeysuckle and roses. The sherry notes are white cherries. Lively. Light. Cherry meringue.

Palate: Mead made with orange blossom honey. Some solvents. Effervescent. Champagne. Hints of wine and leaf litter. A little rosemary. Fresh sage flowers. Intoxicating finish.


ABV: 55.5%

Nose: Rich, dark fruits. Figs and chewy dried plums. Cherry cola syrup. Old oak furniture. Walnut liqueur.

Palate: Sticky dried fruit. Lemon rind. Some walnuts and candied pecans. Sage oil.


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