IF you could bottle it, WHISKY KISSES is the very essence of the perfect Highland musical both for home consumption and export.
The blend of ingredients that goes into this "perfect drop" has been carefully measured by the experienced team of Euan Martin and Dave Smith.
The duo have already mastered their brand of comedy, ceilidh and charismatic characters in earlier touring successes such as The Accidental Death of An Accordionist and The Wedding.
The plot takes the last bottle of a Highland whisky called Glenigma and uses it to start a bidding war between American collector Ben Munro (George Drennan) and Japanese millionaire Yomo (Masashi Fujimoto). But the catch is that both busy men have to go all the way to the dying Glenigma distillery in Scotland to bag their prize, along the way meeting the locals, a proper ceilidh and some home truths about the spirit behind the spirit.
There's some of the schmaltz of Local Hero.
But though the camaraderie of the ceilidh means you totally understand when the cast sing "Here it's forever last night", the show is no Brigadoon.
Sharp and funny lines set Whisky Kisses right here, right now.
And at Eden Court last Friday, the packed house were getting all the gags, from Ben's love of Tartan Day to his struggles with Highland phone reception to his useless shower attachment, and his need to see "President Sal-mond".
They loved Ben's poor assistant Jeff believing peat was "Pete", who "had to dry out for six months".
They giggled when the late distillery-owner's daughter Mary (Alyth McCormack) in her B&B asked Alice (Natalie Toyne): "Are you all set to give a real Highland welcome?"
"No worries!" says Alice, in a broad Aussie accent.
The cast worked seamlessly as a top team and the songs by Martin, Smith and composer James Bryce went from the wit of opener Gotta Have It, to the touching This Place and The Moment Is Gone both great showcases for Alyth's stunning voice.
The only duff note was the slightly amateurish-looking set of Ben's New York office, but neat touches such as the two-sided prop that flipped from distillery barrels to B&B chimney-piece, made up for it.
For anyone who has ever wondered what makes a ceilidh so special, we got the answer with the show's own mini-hoolie with its classic song explaining what it is to be sozzled, mortal, pie-eyed, intoxicated or just drunk on life, like Whisky Kisses. MC