Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams was his debut book in 1985. Tad Williams’ career went on to be a staple of must read authorship with his later books. I paired it with a Cohiba Connecticut as Cohiba is considered one of those must smoke cigars at some point in the smoking path. I selected the Bushmills Original because the title insinuated it was a first offering from the distillery, much the same way debut is a first offering to readers.
The book is full of expected characters who are distinct and identifiable through their actions and dialogue but lack any real depth. Both the Cohiba and the Bushmills fill this bill. Their flavor profiles are expected and lack nuance. The book gives us the hero vehicle for a high adventure novel with a gruff sidekick and innocent who turns into wiseman, loveable warriors in need of guidance, etc., etc.. The Cohiba provides the cedar, pepper, and cream that seem standard for shade grown wrappers. The Bushmills is like a whiskey-light, tasting mostly of cereal.
However, the book provides a twist in that all the characters are cats, squirrels, dogs, and birds. Each have a culture all their own, with an in depth history, expansive lore, and languages. Whether or not you feel that it is an accurate representation of what a cat world would look like, you have to give credit to the imagination that painted such a world. Likewise, you have to give credit to the Bushmills because it goes down easy, with a short and tasty finish of brown sugar. For all that it appears to be a single-note dram, it has some character of its own in the end.
The writing is definitely reflective of a newer writer. The plot is an excuse for adventure and a long journey, loosely tied together by the idea of trying to find a missing love interest. The story seems to end but then you remember the main point of the quest is unfulfilled and there’s a second, rushed ending. The Cohiba Connecticut is similar in its expansive draw, and wavy burn that’s a little too hot, giving it a bitter final third.
All in all, I think these paired well together because they were all lighter fair – lacking depth and therefore easily consumable, requiring little effort to experience. They are exactly what they seem to be, if not entirely what one wanted them to be. They each had their pluses and detractions, which made them interesting enough to finish. I might go out of my way to experience other offerings from each of these brands but I cannot say I will reach back to these in particular. I would say they are each more suited to a novice if the novice but I would warn away from using any of them as an introduction to their individual experiences since they do not present the best of what fantasy, cigars, or Irish whiskey has to offer.