Today my charming husband offers us a guest post: a review of The Angels’ Portion: A Clergyman’s Whisk(e)y Narrative, Volume II.


Review of The Angels’ Portion: A Clergyman’s Whisk(e)y Narrative, Volume II

By Rev. Ned A. Moerbe

Late one evening a visitor knocked at the front door of a large manor house. The butler opened the door and was greeted by a strange visitor who insisted on seeing the master of the house. “I’m sorry,” the servant replied, “the master of the house does not like to be disturbed while he enjoys his supper.” The stranger at the door became irritated and countered that he would not be dismissed by such a flimsy excuse, beside the hour was much to late for a gentleman to be eating his supper. The butler responded, “I did not say he was eating his supper. I said he was enjoying it.”

If you ask me, most folks could learn a lesson from this lord of the manor.  We could point the finger at those fast food restaurants with their “billions and billions served”, but who are the billions if not most of us. And it is not just our eating habits, though most of us would be healthier if we learn to practice enjoying what we eat over eating what we find appealing. We hurry from one activity to another, do we even no how to savor the moment anymore?

That is where Reverend Christopher I. Thoma has so much to teach us in the second volume of his whisk(e)y narrative, The Angels’ Portion. As would any whisky reviewer, Thoma samples a wide variety of whisky (this second volume contains many more non-Scotch varieties) and gives notes on their nose, palate, and finish. This alone is helpful in teaching us to savor God’s gift of the aqua vitae, but Thoma exceeds the expectations of the typical review. He crafts his reviews honestly, but with the same care as the master distillers who forged the inspiring drams. He connects the experience of the whisky with the real life moments that we all to often are tempted to hurry past without savoring, or weaves them into fanciful tales of zombies, Jedi, and other characters. As we learn from the reverend’s experiences we learn not only the value in taking the time, and sometimes money, to enjoy a dram of fine whisky, but we are also reminded to reflect on the gifts of family and vocation, as well as work and leisure.

One wouldn’t expect a review of approximately 150 whiskies to consist of nearly 600 pages, but for Thoma every line of it is used well. The narratives slow down our reading, yet actually make it less tedious. The whiskies are remembered better because the reader has savored the story. And hopefully the anticipation will help those who are guided to try their first sip of any or a specific whisky to savor that experience as well. With all honesty I can tell you that this book is much harder to put down than any other source of reviews I have ever come across. And when you finally reach the end and put it down next to your recently emptied Glencairn, sit there for a moment and continue to enjoy God’s gifts of the aqua vitae and Reverend Thoma’s wit and wisdom. And if perchance a visitor arrives at your door, unlike your cold dinner, it would not be rude to lend him the book.

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