Friday, May 9, 2014

A beautiful glass of scotch.

The first thing you need to appreciate is I'm not much of a drinker.  Never have been.  I got drunk, twice, when I was younger - both times with Jack Daniels - but I've never really been big on the alcohol.  I've drunk so little of it over the course of my life that, to this day, two beers will get me flyin'.  I'm a lightweight, through lack of practice.

But I figured, let's give it a shot.  So to speak.

Rigatoni quattro gusti is what God eats.
Believe the hype.

A few weeks ago, Kayla and I were at my favorite restaurant in the whole world, and we were having one of those Relationship Talks.  On such an auspicious occasion, I felt it necessary for us to have a little something to drink - she had a large glass of white wine, I asked our server how much their most-expensive whiskey was, and got two ounces of that, over ice - it was pretty damn good, as whiskey goes, and the two ounces gave me a pleasant glow.

When we returned a week later, they were out of the eleven-dollar whiskey I'd had last time, and had something called Macallan, which was $12.50 an ounce.  Okay, I'll take a double of that, over ice.

Again - it worked out well - and I decided that I was going to go out and buy myself a really nice bottle of whiskey - the Macallan, if I could find it.

Turns out I couldn't.  The Macallan they served at the restaurant came from a bottle of Macallan 18, which is no longer being sold by the maker.  Now Macallan only sells Ruby, Amber and Gold scotches, which are blends of 8-12-year-old varities, Kayla discerned through careful cell-phone research.

The sales lady at the local Liquor Commission walked us through a bunch of whiskeys - even set up a little tasting for us!  And I ended up selecting a fifteen-year-old bottle of somethingorother - the oldest (and therefor, I'm told, smoothest) bottle they had.

On our way out, the sales lady stopped at a locked cabinet and showed off some other stuff - there was a $260 bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label.  "Ohhh why would you show me this?" I fretted.  For now, having seen divinity, I knew I would desire it.

But there, one shelf below the Johnny Walker, was a bottle of... well - this:

$100.  I pointed my finger.  "I want that."

On the way home with my obscenely expensive bottle of liquor (which I clutched like an infant to and from the car, lest it shatter into a hundred dollar tragedy), I told Kayla that I had a dream glass of whiskey.

Everything, I feel, should look like it belongs in the casino scene of a good James Bond movie.  Cigarettes should be lit with metal lighters (or matches), men should wear suits and a glass of whiskey should be drunk from a clean, classic tumbler glass with straight vertical lines and no distracting "style."

"And... in my fantasy of fantasies, there wouldn't be a bunch of ice chips or cubes.  It would be one big sphere of ice in the glass."

So, the next day, we went to a store called Home Outfitters and found a gorgeous set of tumblers.  I couldn't find anything to do with ice cubes - and it seemed like a fool's errand - but I went searching, and asked a sales associate.

"Ummm... I think we have some ice cube trays up near the checkouts," he offered.  Not very promising.  At the checkouts were some fish-shaped ice cube trays and... silicon spheres that cracked open in the middle.  They make perfect spheres of ice, and can be flat on one edge, if you choose.

It came to about fifty bucks, for the glass and the moulds. And this... a beautiful glass of scotch.  I'm not much of a drinker - never have been - but that is... elegant.  And lovely.

And now, if you'll excuse me,

Kayla and I are off to snuggle, drink some great whiskey and watch Hannibal, which is totally the best show on television.  [update] Picked up for a third season woo!  Thanks Alex! [/update]

G'night everybody!


  1. Oh man. I've never been a drinker either (Even less so than you - I've only had sips of beer and champagne) but the want was implanted in me by the Yakuza games, because of the descriptions of the real-world drinks at the bars. For example:

    The Macallan 30 Years

    The Macallan has a brand new product called Fine Oak, which is a blend of whiskeys aged in bourbon and sherry barrels. But this one here was aged entirely in sherry barrels using the traditional Macallan method. The 30-year aging process produces a rich sherry note and a deep sweetness like ripe fruit. There is none of the woody taste of over-aging. This one's incredibly smooth and it has a freshness you wouldn't expect from a 30-year-old whiskey. It may be pricey, but one sip and you'll know that it's well worth it.

    Laphroaig 10 Years

    It's safe to say this 10-year Laphroaig is the standard of the line. It's characterized by an intensely smoky flavor and a smooth, dry body. It has more than its share of quirks, so most people either love it or hate it. But if you end up loving this one, it'll be the one you'll never forget.

    Bowmore 12 Years

    This is the standard of the Bowmore line. Sherry barrels give it its uniquely ripe, floral overtones. Seaweeds unique to Islay give it a distinctive flavor and saltiness. These qualities have earned it the title of "Queen of Islay". It stands a cut above the rest of the single malt 12-year-old whiskeys.

    Laphroaig 30 Years

    The 30-year-old variety is Laphroaig's finest. It has a sweet mellowness from sherry barrels and a boldness from the use of peat. Add to this its rich, full-flavored taste and you have a well-balanced range of flavors. Even those who find Laphroaig's usual kick a bit overpowering will enjoy the 30-year-old variety. Its exceptional character has won it many awards for best malt whiskey.

    There are -so many- of these and there are some really good ones in there. I found these by actually booting up Yakuza 4 and going around drinking (and then fighting to get some of the drink worn off so I could drink more) just so I could type them out, so I'm sure there are better examples that I just didn't get to.

  2. (Googles it.) Hm. Macallan 30 Year is a real thing. Bottles are going for... $1600.


    When we had our little whiskey tasting, the guy started us off with a highlands scotch with a ton of smoke to it - it just filled your sinuses and lingered. Then he hands us a lighter one and asks "can you taste the smoke?"

    "After that first one, no."

    But man... that first one was pretty good.