Jan 292016
 

Liquorature Gathering #055 – “The Outsider” (Albert Camus)TheOutsider_Albert_Camus

Date:  August, 2013

Host:  Lorenzo

Whisky:  Glenrothes 1994, Glenrothes 1988, Bruichladdich 1992 Chateau Climens

Rum:  n/a

 

It’s hard to do Camus justice in any real sense.  Such is the nature of existential and psychologically-driven works such as this (or Kafka, etc).  I hadn’t read Camus since high school, at a time when I was voraciously devouring anything I could get my hands on, so Lorenzo’s pick of ‘The Outsider’ (or ‘The Stranger’, depending on which edition you have) arrived with a bit of nostalgic reflection.  This is a touchstone novel for sure, but in terms of proper appreciation I think I honestly prefer ‘The Plague’ a little more than this one.

‘The Outsider’ made me reflect a little on the idea of reality versus expectation.  My wife and I have had debates about this very topic (often coinciding with a remark about the definition of insanity…you know the one), but Camus himself summed it up perfectly: “I summarized The Stranger a long time ago, with a remark I admit was highly paradoxical: ‘In our society any man who does not weep at his mother’s funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death.’ I only meant that the hero of my book is condemned because he does not play the game.

Those of us that take exception to the status quo often find we have to tread lightly in order to avoid the consequences that even the fiercest of assholes seem to somehow elude.  Such is life in this age of internet warriors, armchair experts, instant access to short form information and a cultural polarity that is unprecedented in our time.  So be it.  We get through it.  Let’s use another quote to sum up, this time Lebowski: “The dude abides”.  Yep.  We abide.

Anyway…Camus is never a particularly ‘enjoyable’ read, but that isn’t necessarily the point.  Some authors are more about the message than the tale.  Or maybe a better way to put it would be ‘the destination is more important than the journey’.  I think the Liquorature collective would agree.  They read, discussed and have moved on.  I honestly don’t think this book has been mentioned again since this night.

Having said that, deep subject matter requires deep drinks for intellectual lubrication.  A couple of vintage Glenrothes and an older Bruichladdich were solid accompaniment.  I’m not normally a fan of post ’70s ‘Rothes, but rather enjoyed these two.  And Bruichladdich is usually in my wheelhouse.  This one I was definitely keen on.

Oh yeah, and finally…it’s never bad having an Italian cook dinner for you.  Just saying.  Helluva good gnocchi, Lo.  Well done, mate.

Randoms:  Gnocchi and caperberries … “can we go smoke the skunk?”… the minivan.

 

 – Curt

Jan 292016
 

Liquorature Gathering #054 – “Silence” (Shusaku Endo)silence

Date:  July, 2013

Host:  Jay

Whisky:  Auchentoshan 17 y.o. (1990), Longmorn 16 y.o., A.D. Rattray Ben Nevis 13 y.o.

Rum:  ?

 

Whoa.  Ummm…if ever a book took us to a place of stuttering uncertainty, this may have been it.  There is depth.  There is questioning.  There is empathy.  There is, more than anything, enough to make even the atheists among us reflect on what it means to have a belief in something so strong you’re willing to die for it.  It actually goes further than that, asking us to contemplate whether our beliefs are so strong we could allow others to die for them.  I can’t say I enjoyed paging my way through this one, but I took immense gain from what it made me contemplate.

I’ve said it before…Jay comes up with some unbelievably random and far-reaching picks.  This was just another case in point.  It left a roomful of guys sort of speechless and inarticulate, in spite of all our fumbling to come to grips with it.

But let’s lighten the mood a little.  Every one of our club meetings begins with a formal book discussion and whisky appreciation, but after we’ve exhausted our respective talking points on the book of the month it is simply a night of guys being guys.  Hanging out…sharing laughs…making memories.  This gathering may have started out somewhat somber and riddled with ‘what the fucks?’, but it soon turned into every other event.  Exactly as it should be.

The food was good, the drinks were solid (excepting one sulphured mess of an independent 13 year old Ben Nevis) and the company was ideal.

Coming full circle to a darker note here, this was Lance’s last night with us, before his exile to the middle east for work.  We know this is not a permanent situation, but it is indefinite.  As I write this piece we are closing in on three years gone.  Miss ya, mate.  Look forward to seeing you back.

Until next…

 

– Curt

Jan 292016
 

Liquorature #053 – “The Year Of The Flood” (Margaret Atwood)yearoftheflood

Date:  June, 2013

Host:  Chris

Whisky:  Glenfarclas 105, Glen Scotia 16, Highland Park 15

Rum:  El Dorado 12 y.o.

 

An odd choice, this.  Book two in the ‘Oryx And Crake’ trilogy by Canadian treasure Margaret Atwood.  Not that it’s odd to choose Atwood – or a book on this subject matter, for that matter – but to pick this volume instead of first.  It didn’t matter to me, however, as I’d read O&C, but I wonder if the others missed out a little for not having the same informed starting point.

What it boils down to, in any event, is that all Liquorature picks have to be standalone volumes.  We set that rule in place early on, in order to ensure no one made a selection that would then require members to go back and do a bunch of pre-reading (or dive into subsequent volumes) in order to get the big picture.  Incidental here, as ‘The Year Of The Flood’ does have a solid enough base to stand on its own.  Barely.

While a few members may have been scratching their hands a bit trying to wrap their thoughts around this one, the overall reception was good.  Essentially this is a dystopian science fiction novel.  You should know by now if you’ve been reading these brief dispatches that the majority of the gang ’round here digs these genres.  There isn’t typically a lot of headbutting over these sorts of picks.  Not like when we discuss anything related to, say, the middle east, colonialism, economics or the current political climate.

We gathered in Chris’s back yard on a brilliant June eve for this meeting.  A bottle of Glenfarclas 105 was well beaten up on…a Glen Scotia 16 was actively reviled…and the now obsolete Highland Park 15 was fun to revisit.  One or two did the gentlemanly thing and sampled the rum before switching back to drinks that wee actually palatable.  (I kid, I kid!)

Just writing this makes me reflect back.  Thinking I should reread these two tales and pick up ‘Maddaddam’, book three in the trilogy.  Hmmm.

 

– Curt

Jan 282016
 

Liquorature Gathering #052 – “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep” (Philip K. Dick)do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep

Date:  May, 2013

Host:  Scott

Whisky:  Glenmorangie Ealanta, Sheep Dip 1999 Oloroso Amaroso, Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Rum:  ?

 

You may not know this one by title, but you’d probably recognize the story.  Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi jottings here would later become the seed from which Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ would grow.  Scott took the premise and turned ideas into striking dystopian visuals.  The latter was great.  The former, beyond great.  Do yourself a favour and read this book.

As with nearly all of the Liquorature science fiction selections that have been tabled before this discerning group, ‘Androids’ was met with very warm reception.  We are nothing if not a group with a profound appreciation for ideas and exploding boundaries.  Sci-fi is built on that very foundation, hence a match made in heaven.  Dick is not my favorite SF author, but he is canonical and this was a great gateway into his world(s).  The fact that I even have a frame of reference for science fiction is a true testament to what this club does.  Prior to Liquorature this was a genre I largely avoided.  Now I seek out the greats within.

Scott’s place is a great venue for these more in depth discussions.  His living room is tight and cozy; a small room ideal for those ‘lean forward and debate’ sort of conversations.  This adds immensely to the experience, I find.  Maybe that’s just me.  Either way…very memorable.  Especially in the dimly lit haze with ‘Blade Runner’ playing on screen behind us.

Alright.  Let’s talk drams to wrap this thing up.  Glenmorangie Ealanta.  Later names Jim Murray’s World Whisky Of The Year.  Ummmm…off your fucking rocker much, mate?  This is nothing more than an ok malt, overburdened with too many spices and synthetic sweet notes from an overpowering bourbon influence.  Moving on.  Wild Turkey Rare Breed.  Wow.  What a treat.  This was one of the most surprising whiskies of the year for me.  I was instantly enamoured.  Who’da thought Wild Turkey could make something so amazing?  Not this guy.  Definitely the standout of the night.

Was there rum?  There was probably rum.  Bah.  Who cares?

Ramdoms:  “EMP, bitch!”…”the Alan Alda of Ginger Buddhas”…

 

– Curt

Jan 282016
 

Liquorature Gathering #051 – “Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn” (Mark Twain)Adventures-of-Huckleberry-Finn

Date:  April, 2013

Host:  Lance

Whisky:  A.D. Rattray Tamdhu 42 y.o.

Rum:

 

This small outdoor gathering on Lance’s back porch is one that will be tough to forget.  This was to be Lance’s last pick before he moved on to browner pastures (Kuwait), though we didn’t really know for certain that would be the case at the time.  But that in and of itself does not make for a memorable occasion.  What made it magic was the company, the discussion and the lone bottle of single malt on offer for the night.

Like searching out the perfect rose in a bush full of thorns, we had to wait and suffer some nastiness before we got to partake of a 42 year old Tamdhu from A.D. Rattray.  And by that, of course, I mean rum.  Ugh.  Colon cleanser for the unwashed.

I jest (sort of).  In all fairness to our host, he broke out a hell of a spread of distilled cane and molasses for our benefit/punishment.  Old and rare, expensive and actually quite civilized fare.  In fact those he poured for us were closer to whisky than what the average punter thinks of when you mention rum.  Captain Morgan, this was not.  I spent the better part of an evening drinking rum and not even once did it trigger my gag reflex or give me those nasty pee shivers that sometimes happen when choking down something vile.  Well done, Lance.  I s’pose I could probably drink this again.

But it was the Tamdhu that lives on in legend, like a perfect harmonic ringing out, amplified and sustained indefinitely.  Brilliant, brilliant whisky.

Our Irish ne’er-do-well, Maltmonster, was in attendance tonight as well.  Being a fan of ol’ Sam Clemens, this was one gathering he simply couldn’t miss.  Reading Twain’s works provides a prefect insight into the gears and trappings whirling away in Maltmonster’s devious little noggin.  The influence is palpable.

And what’s not to love about Huck Finn?  Nada.  A few of us read Tom Sawyer as well, and hitting these touchstones this late in life was just what I needed for an injection of free-spiritedness in my life.  Being old is no fun.  In the words of Tom Waits: “I don’t wanna grow up.”

Thanks for a splendid night, Caner.

 

– Curt

Jan 282016
 

Liquorature Gathering #050 – “Moby Dick” (Herman Melville)Moby-Dick

Date:  March, 2013

Host:  Curt

Whisky:  Ardbeg Galileo, Bowmore Laimrig 15 y.o., Glenfarclas 21 y.o., Aberlour a’bunadh (Batch 37), Connemara

Rum:  Plantation 5 y.o.

 

Tonight I made enemies.  On a grand scale.  Few books have caused as much animosity and bellyaching amongst the Liquorature collective as Melville’s masterpiece ‘Moby Dick’.  ‘Catcher In The Rye’ had us ready to tar and feather Salinger (coincidentally on the day of his death), while ‘Looking Backward’s’ condescending puerile drivel had a couple of us ready to turn all those thousands of words into so much toilet paper.  But this massive and daunting recounting of the hunt for the white whale, in all its Victorian charm, had the united members of the group on the verge of mutiny.

So who was the sadistic bastard who subjected the boys to such a literary flogging?  Yep.  Yours truly.

Here’s the deal…’Moby Dick’ is one of the greatest novels ever written.  I can’t even look at that as a subjective statement.  In all my bias I simply can’t wrap my head around this being any less than fact.  I adore this tale.  And I unequivocally love the execution.  The chapters on cetology and all extraneous bolt-ons to the story proper only serve to sink us deeper and deeper beneath the crushing weight of the oceans Melville paints for us.  Isn’t that what we want in good literature?  The immersive experience?  I’ve read through this book a couple of times now, and as I type this I am honestly contemplating another go-round.  In fact…with weeks to go until the next gathering, I think I may pick this up tonight.

So…reception wasn’t great this time around.  So be it.  The criticisms were many, but there was some appreciation as well.  Granted most of that was simply that the whole experience was behind us, but so be it.

We had our occasional member, Maltmonster, sit in for this one, and spent the evening in heated conversation, drowning our livers in Ardbeg, Bowmore, Glenfarclas and Aberlour.  We even deigned to put out a little Irish juice for our genetically-challenged friend.  It was the briny Ardbeg and Bowmore, however, that really suited the experience, reeking of oceanic influence as they do. And the sounds of Ahab’s ‘Call Of The Wretched Sea’ album provided a doomy backdrop to the whole affair.  Memorable and atmospheric.  Loved it.

Randoms:  “Fuck thee”…”Poor Pip”…”He brought the A-Team”…”…And that was a whole chapter”…”Hung with harpoons” …an Irish guest.

NB: Exiled rum-junkie Lance did a really good write up of the novel while in sandland.

– Curt

Jan 282016
 

Liquorature Gathering #049 – “Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” (Christopher Moore)Lamb

Date:  February, 2013

Host:  Bauer

Whisky:  Glenfiddich 21 y.o. Gran Reserva, Port Charlotte Peat Project, Amrut Fusion, Strathisla 12 y.o.

 

Ah…we love irreverent and good-spirited blasphemy here in the collective.  Nothing truly offensive (though that has its time and place on occasion), but intelligent interpretation and utilization of the subject matter in order to make us rethink our assumptions in this modern day, removed form the trappings of ignorance and orthodoxy.  Ok…now I’m bordering on offending, myself.  Let’s trend lightly.  -Ish.

I, like many others, had often walked past the pseudo-cartoony spines of Christopher Moore’s books in Chapters, without so much as stooping to pick one up.  Not sure why, except he simply never crossed my radar and the aesthetics were not really appealing to my tastes.  Alas, one of the most widely disseminated idioms we’ll ever here – ‘never judge a book by its cover’ – is more apt here than you can imagine.  ‘Lamb’ is a brilliant book.  One that punches well above its weight.  I thought a little of Robbins, maybe a little of Vonnegut.  More the former, but perhaps with a little less psychedelia and a little more natural narrative flow.  But let’s forget any literary debate and instead concentrate on the content.  I kinda think this book has enough food for thought (and tactful delivery, I might add) to make both atheists and orthodox bust a gut and make friends over a dram or two.  Enlightening, entertaining and critical (in all the right ways).  Good choice, Bauer, and one that led to great conversation.

But Liquorature is more than books, aye?  Bauer popped the cork on a couple old favorites, as well as being kind enough to open the proverbial cabinet doors to allow the unwashed to decimate his distilled stores at will.  Thanks, buddy.  Enjoyed the Ardbeg and Octomore immensely.

Drinks led to laughs, laughs led back to the book.  I think we were all high on this one.  But let’s face it…a book like this is meant to unite.  And tonight it did just that.

Randoms:  “Lex Lutheranism”…”Research the bejesus out of it”…Scientology…”He was born in a suit”…”You can’t kill a muppet”…”Guy On A Buffalo”…”Sabre toothed hamster”…”I’m sure that bear didn’t want to be shaved”.

 

– Curt

Jan 282016
 

Liquorature Gathering #048 – “A Fine Balance” (Rohinton Mistry)A_Fine_Balance

Date:  January, 2013

Host:  Jay

Whisky:  BB&R Berry’s Own 1989 Mortlach, Adelphi Bowmore 10 y.o.

Rum:  Dictador 20 y.o.

 

The start of year five for the Liquorature collective.  Wow.  Who’d have thought.  The book selections have been all over the map and that, of course, is exactly why we do this.  One member, though, has consistently managed to toss out book choices that leave us all scratching our heads.  Not because they’re illogical or anything, but because they seem to come so far out of left field for his character.  Or maybe they don’t and I’m simply projecting.

When Jay announced Rohinton Mistry’s ‘A Fine Balance’ as his pick to kick off 2013 I was over the moon.  This book had sat on my shelf unread for years, originally, I think, having belonged to my ex-girlfriend.  I’d often debated picking it up, but there always seemed to be another at the head of the queue.  This was just the motivation I needed – as is often the case with Liquorature – to finally start flipping pages on this ‘always a bridesmaid’ book.

‘A Fine Balance’ is one of those rare experiences in literature.  It’s more than a novel.  It’s an experience.  An immersive cultural initiation and awakening.  More than that, it is an utterly breathtaking story.  While seemingly simple on the surface, its layers and intricate truths are a stunning microcosm of the ‘human condition’ (a cheat, I know, but read it and tell me you don’t see a reflection of all facets of humanity and the inevitable futilities and questionings that come with it).  I can’t express it any better than to say Mistry completely knocked the legs out from under me, leaving me drained, damp-eyed…and entirely in love with every word he’d written.  Unquestionably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

We sipped well this eve, while universally praising this one.  A brilliant meaty old Mortlach was the spark, before a beastly young Bowmore erupted like fire in our bellies.  Both great offerings.  Those inclined to the more syrupy side of things were also drawn to a 20 year old Dictador rum.  Blech.  Not for this guy.

Thanks, Jay.  Brilliant experience from front to back.  Thanks for bringing this one to the club.

Randoms:  “Spook quote”…”Oprah’s army of white people”…”Where do you launder?”…”Collar and counting”…Indian food from “A Taste Of India”

 

– Curt

Jan 282016
 

Liquorature Gathering #047 – “Back To Blood” (Tom Wolfe)back to blood

Date:  December, 2012

Host:  Chris

Whisky:  Aberlour 16 y.o., ?

Rum:  ?

 

It was bound to happen.  The best laid plans of mice and men, and all that.  I’m writing this in January of 2016 as I do a sweep-up of event gatherings that never got recorded for posterity; a good three years removed from this one.  To date I am the only one who has attended every Liquorature gathering.  However…that iron man streak has an asterisk beside it.

An hour or two before heading out to Chris’s place for this meeting of the minds my wife came down with something nasty.  I mean really nasty.  Out of commission nasty.  Guess who had to pull the plug on his evening of intellectual dick-measuring and liver-drowning?  Yep.  This guy.  So be it.  The problem was that I had agreed to be driver for the eve.  The ‘stay sober and put up with the drunken idiots’ guy.  It’s kinda tough to back out on that sort of commitment, so I made the rounds, picking up the lads, and drove ’em all down to Chris’s place.  I stuck it out for about 20 mins of quick chat before having to hit the highway for home.

So…yes I attended.  I shared a few bits of opinion, heard a couple others, and sprinted for the door before I found myself relegated to the couch for the night.  Obviously I can’t share a lot of details about this event.  I can, however, weigh in on the merits – or lack thereof – of Wolfe’s ‘Back To Blood’.  Let’s just wrap this one up with a resounding ‘meh’.  700 pages should result in a much more epic tale than this.  And when your protagonist is a musclebound, primping wank…well…it’s hard to root for the guy.  I’ve heard ‘Bonfire Of The Vanities’ is supposed to be great, but I can honestly say I’m not keen on self-immolation, so could happily live out the rest of my days without reading another turn of phrase by Mr. Beatnik-cum-hippie Journist.  In short…this book fucking sucked.

Onwards and upwards…

 

– Curt

Jan 272016
 

Liquorature #074 – “Hunger” (Knut Hamsun)Hunger

Date:  July 24th, 2015

Host:  Jay

Whisky:  Cadenhead Glen Keith-Glenlivet 21 y.o., Black Adder Raw Cask Auchentoshan 1991 23 y.o. Cask #3061, Signatory Glenlivet 1981 33 y.o. Cask #9452

 

Jesus suffering fuck.  No need for politically correct niceties here.  This is my site after all.  Where the hell do you come up with these picks, Jay?

This was a deep, dark, existential, Dostoevsky-meets-Camus, slit-your-wrists tale of ludicrous and unrestrained despair.  Mostly of the masochistic and illogical sort.  Starving artist motif be damned, this was an exercise in suspension of disbelief like no other, in which the reader is expected to empathize with decision-making of the most illogical leaps.  If that doesn’t sound like enough of a mindfuck, then wrap your head around this: ‘Hunger’ is a helluva good read, actually.  WTF?!  Exactly.

So what’s it boil down to?  An unhinged, frenetic narrator (albeit likeable for whatever reasons), some Huxley-esque devolutions into acid trip-like surreality (‘Door of Perception’), Strange leaps of logic, an incredible ability to capture the human ‘thought to thought’ mind-wandering transitions, and a truly singular literary experience.  I summed it up before going into this meeting as Huxley meets Salinger meets Kafka meets Dostoyevsky meets Camus meets Cervantes.  Yep.

Let’s not get hung up on the book here, as there really isn’t a way to prepare for this one, so let me just reassure you that while we like to play to themes at Liquorature gatherings, we had no intentions of engaging in any form of self-denial or restraint.  Jay filled our bellies with tasty order-in from Tom’s Pizza, then proceeded to pop the cork on three lovely old single cask independent bottlings.  A Lowlander and a couple of Speysiders.  Real gems, all.  In peering back through the months I cannae rightly recall if there was much left in any of the bottles, but I can only imagine we inflicted some heavy damage, as often happens when the drams are of this calibre.  The book created some division in the ranks; the whiskies certainly did not.

Jay’s streak of truly singular book and malt selection is arguably second to none in the club.  Keep it up, mate.  You’re killing it.

Until next…

Random notes:  Tom’s Pizza rocks … “two degrees of Kevin Bacon” … Seinfeld.

 

– Curt

Jan 272016
 

Liquorature #073 – “Daemon” (Daniel Suarez)daemon

Date:  July 3rd, 2015

Host:  Steve

Whisky:  BB&R Glen Garioch 1994 Cask #19 Willow Park Exclusive, BenRiach 16 y.o. Sauternes Finish, Liddesdale 21 Batch #8, Bunnahabhain Ceobanach

 

Hmmmm…let me start by saying that Steve-o needs a kick in the nuts for this pick.  Not because it was a bad read, but because it fucking stopped halfway through the story.  There couldn’t have been a bigger cliffhanger ending unless Suarez had accidentally walked off a rocky ledge while writing the final pages and dropped the book behind mid-sentence.

I don’t think any of us realized going into this one that ‘Daemon’ was more the first half of a story (concluded in “Freedom™”) than a true standalone novel.  Well, shit.  Fortunately Scott was ahead of the gang and gave us an early heads up.  I managed to finish both books in time for our meet, as did Scott and maybe one other.

On a positive note, however, ‘Daemon’ is the stronger of the two works.  Airtight plotting and pacing, with enough of a malevolence and edge-of-the-seat ‘what comes next?’ to keep the pages flying by.  That in itself is great, but this book is so much more.  The incredible depth of understanding in relation to subject matter and the sheer volume of research behind this one is staggering.  I simply don’t want to reveal anything here, but the express with that more people check it out.  I expected – in my infinite snobbery – to be thoroughly underwhelmed by this one, and was anything but.

Only makes sense that a book that blew our hair back deserved some great malts, aye?  Steve laid out a range of surprising drams.  A few I’d not yet made acquaintances with.  Personal highlights were likely the two Bunnahabhains; one young, peated and feisty…the other mature, soft and sweet.  Together a nice yin and yang.

I believe we were missing at least on of the guys for this one.  Le sigh.  Unfortunately this seems to be more the norm than an anomaly.  C’est la vie.  Maybe our numbers need to creep a little ’til there is always a full contingent.  We’ll see.

Random notes:  The sunset on Steve’s back porch … some ‘extracurricular’ activity for one or two hippies … the “Freedom™” indignation.

 

– Curt

Jan 272016
 

Liquorature #072 – “The Mask Of Dimitrios” (Eric Ambler)Dimitrios

Date:  May 29th, 2015

Host:  Scott (aka Buddha)

Whisky:  Black Bull 12 y.o., Johnnie Walker Green Label, Glen Scotia 1991 22 y.o. (First Editions), Smokehead

 

A bit of an old school potboiler, this ‘un.  Scott elected to play to the mystery angle a bit too, by having us try all the evening’s drams blind.  Fun.  Gotta keep mixing it up, right?  While even just the central premise of Liquorature – to gather a few decent guys over drinks and interesting discussion – is enough to keep us coming back, it’s the l’il extras that elevate this into the beautiful clandestine entity it has become.

I should note too that this was to be Scott’s last gathering at the old digs.  He and his missus have now moved on to a sprawling high end pad not far from my place.  We’ll miss this tight little apartment for its intimacy and closed-circle conversations.  It’s amazing just how much the setting can influence the tone of an evening’s development.  Either way, when I look back on ‘Dimitrios’ night it seems to have a noir and shadowy countenance.  I like that.  Very apropos for a book like this.

My two cents aside, I think the boys quite liked this one, if memory serves.  The pacing was a little tentative, but let’s time travel a bit and put ourselves in the age that this was written.  It was a forebear of a genre in many ways.  Like all first steps, they’re really without stumbles, but it’s the forward momentum that earns the distinction.  In short…mad respect from this crew and a general satisfaction to have tackled this touchstone.  In fact…I may now go back for a re-read after having reflected a bit.

Scott pulled out a rather lovely Glen Scotia 22 year old from one of the only working distilleries on Campbeltown.  That was the clear cut winner for the eve, in terms of libations.  Shame we missed a couple of the boys for this gathering, but alas, fellas…fear not.  We drank your share.

Memorable night in all.  Maybe some Chandler next?

Random Thoughts:  ‘the taming of the jew’ … English-y … No Jesse or Bauer this time … the blind tasting … some Agalloch as backdrop … great movie recaps … ‘Bea Arthur is pretty dead’

 

– Curt

Jan 272016
 

Dune_cover_artLiquorature #071 – “Dune” (Frank Herbert)

Date:  May 1st, 2015

Host:  Curt

Whisky:  Compass Box Spice Tree, Arran 10 y.o., Bruichladdich 12 y.o. Second Edition, BenRomach Cask Strength 2002, BenRiach 1997 Madeira, anCnoc Flaughter, Octomore 4.2 Comus

 

Way out of date with these write-ups.  Been lacking motivation, to be honest.  Not sure if any members are reading ’em.  I guess we should get caught up for posterity, though.

Herbert’s ‘Dune’ is a book that has sat on my shelf for years.  Oft recommended; even started once or twice, though I never made it past the first couple pages.  Dunno.  This one just didn’t get its hooks into me in my earlier attempts.  The one thing Liquorature has been good for (well…let’s face it: there are countless things Liquorature has been good for) is motivation.  Once I finally said ‘yeah…lets’ do this one’, it was game on.  I don’t not finish our books, so I knew I’d finally get a chance to see this one through.  Interestingly enough, the announcement of this pick was met with a cacophony of cheers and mutinous snarls.  Hmmm….good pick for a book club, in other words.

Well…after cursing my name and teetering on the edge of issuing violent threats if he had to read this book again, even Chris found himself on board this time, his second go-round at tackling Frank Herbert’s lauded sci-fi epic, Dune.  His detestation melted away into appreciation this time ’round.  And just days ago – more than a year later, as I jot these notes – he even conceded to really liking this marriage of ‘Tremors’ and ‘Star Wars’ / ‘Star Trek’.  ‘Dune’ is a deep, epic tale that spans large themes as it traverses even larger galaxies.

The conversation was an interesting one, especially in light of a couple of friends sitting in as guests for the eve.  One was a mate of mine and long-lived ‘Dune’ fan.  The other was Chris’s brother.  Both helped to bring this night to an amplified state of non-sober enlightenment and provided the new perspectives we’re always looking for.  Love it.

We tucked into at least seven new malts for this one, but I believe there may have been a beer or two as well.  And at the end of it all…two golden tickets were issued to our guests to join the ranks of malt-swillin’, pseudo-intellectual elitists.  Both accepted.  More to come on these developments next time.

I thnk, in the end, I earned forgiveness from Chris for this one, but the boys are less likely to let me off the hook for bringing ’em along as we sounded the deep in search of the white whale a while back.  And to that I say…’suck it up, princesses.’

Random Notes:  Dan Clermont and Jesse Graham sitting in … Pretzels in sand … Chris liking it more this time around … Bauer’s purchase … the LGBT-friendly alternate ending…

 

– Curt