Date: March, 2013
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.