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

Aug 232013
 

Liquorature Gathering #019 – “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” (Douglas Adams)

Date:  August, 2010

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Host:  Clint

Whisky:  Glenmorangie Original, Glenmorangie LaSanta, Compass Box Peat Monster, Buffalo Trace

Rum:  Captain Morgan’s Special Reserve

 

Well…another one in the annals of Liquorature history.  I can’t help but feel somewhat disappointed in this one.  The gathering that was, not speaking to the novel here.  Though it is always a blast to get together with my comrades, it is slightly…unworthy…when we have a night like this.  Hey…gotta be honest.  That is the backbone of Liquorature…the right to free expression.  Though there were several attempts to keep the conversation on track, it just seemed like derailment after derailment until finally the white flag.  Oh well.  Nearly all of our meetings are brilliant (all modesty aside), so I suppose the occasional fluff meet is okay.

As I said, we always have a great time when assembled.  This was no exception.  Barbs and jeers flowed freely through the evening, and I believe the highlights all came towards the end when we simply settled into converstaions about photography, drink, friends and…uh…Harry Potter.

Clint’s foray into bourbon was a nifty little odyssey that included mint juleps to kick off the festivities.  The sweetness of said bevvies was an instant antagonist for the usual flurry of rum vs whisky digs volleyed between myself, who was right, and Senor Surujbally who swills that vile pirate sweat.  ;)   After this, we nipped at the Buffalo Trace (stunning nose led into a surprisingly abrasive palate) in a Liquorature first.  The rum, as has become custom took a sh*tkicking.  Not necessarily cause it was liked by all, but seven people will seriously dent a single bottle.  That being said…it was a well-received cane.

As for the nectar of Scotland?  A Glenmorangie double-header, with the LaSanta winning over many, and a visit by an old flame of mine…Glenmorangie Original.  Tasty.  Ostby pulled no punches and trotted out a fourth whisky as well.  Compass Box’s Peat Monster.  Though we had tried (and enjoyed) this many, many months ago, this revisit surprised many of us.  Those that had tried it previously were a little taken aback at how bold and beautiful the peat was here.  Glad to try this again.

The book itself was well-received, I think.  I was called out briefly for a family emergency (thus missing some of the action), but even so I don’t believe there was too much in-depth chatter about this one.  Whether or not that is even possible was actually a topic of discussion.  Regardless, the lighthearted humor was a welcome relief after the burden of Dostoevsky.

Though a little off the rails, much like the book itself it was noted, still a fun night.

Highlights…Bauer in a sombrero…mint juleps…Two And A Half Men camp…Slartibartfast, the fjordmaster…drinking outside the box…’Mt. Gay…Which way are you going?’…godforsook to Kandi…some great pics by Pat (have yet to see Lance’s)…and finally…

“If I stop thinking about it, it will come to me.”

“I stopped thinking about sex and it never came to me.” – Bauer.

Until next…

Slainte!!

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The Liquorature Full Quorum, including the back of Clint's head
– Curt
Aug 232013
 

Liquorature Gathering #018 – “The Idiot” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

Date:  July, 2010

The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Host:  Lance

Whisky:  Yamazaki 12 yr old (Japan)

Rum: Old Port DeLuxe (India), Mount Gay Extra Old (Barbados), El Dorado 5 yr old (Guyana).  (Also sampled: Appleton 30 yr old, Kraken Black and Clemente agricole)

 

Cane night at Chez Surujbally.  Our host extraordinaire not only trotted out a fine selection of new bottles, but also broke open a swath from own stash.  I think there were 10 rums altogether that got battered, as well as 3 whiskies.  Lance was kind enough to allow me nips at both the Johnnie Walker Blue and the Glenlivet 21 Archive, both of which will have reviews up in the coming days.

A gorgeous summer eve led us all out to Lance’s back deck to sit in the sun and watch the day end.  For only the second time we allowed a visitor to sit on for a session.  The famous, or infamous, Sir Bear (Keenan) joined us for this evening of carousing.  True to Lance’s word Keenan was not only a tangible being, but a gentleman and a scholar.  In a bold move, Lance’s enticement of the Bear involved an invitation to select the book for our gathering.  Hence…’The Idiot’.

Keenan is a brave man.  Not sure I would have wanted the responsibility of picking a book for a group of people I had never met.  Though I won’t say everyone enjoyed it…I will say that it was a good selection.  We had a whirlwind of conversation on this one.  I think we probably spent a solid couple hours on the book all told.  The consensus?  Uh…not so good.  Most took exception to the title character’s seeming lack of spine or sack.  The meandering Victorian language and frustrating lack of action…ANY action…were deal-breakers for most.  A few things stood out in positive relief however.  A few passages were existentialist Dostoyevsky at his best (mostly the end)…a couple of great humorous scenes…some ridiculous (though very broad stroke) characters…and the best thing of all for some of the gang?  To be able to say they have now read Dostoyevsky.

The everyman’s meal (chili) was a success as well.  The gents lauded Surujbally’s culinary prowess (notice I said ‘Surujbally’…and not ‘Lance’….this way if it was Kym who did the deed…I’m still covered).  I don’t believe there is such thing as a red n’ white blooded Canadian who doesn’t love chili.

The night’s sipping (and dear gawd…there was a lot of it)…started for this guy with two higher end whiskies that Lance has been nudging me to review for a while now.  The always disappointing Johnnie Walker Blue (Sorry, guys) and the rather delectable Glenlivet 21.  Aside from appreciation for the drams, I’ll say no more here.  Look under reviews in the near future.  After that it was on to the Yamazaki for me, and a whole schwackload of rum for the rest.  I sampled a couple, but find the stuff is just too…well…not for me.

The Bear and the gang seemed tickled pink with choice though.  As there were simply too many on offer to keep track of, I’ll let the boys’ comments below attest to quality of what was out.  There was more than a little stumbling after all was said and done.  Again…anyone who cares to confess their sins can do below.  Under the whole ‘what happens in Liquorature…stays in Liquorature’ clause it is verboten to rat out another…HOWEVER…if said individuals care to consider their (mis)deeds as a badge of honor…hey…confession is good for the soul (and a few laughs!).

A great night full of laughter and mockery.  Keenan was a welcome addition for the eve.  Nice guy,  open and involved…contributed more than just a book selection.  Glad we finally met, sir.  Hope to see more of you in the future.

The rewards of tackling Dostoyevsky are many, but for a few of the gang it is simply to round out the bell curve.  This was will be low ranked for most.  As always though…all conceded that it allows that frame of reference that you carry forward.  I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a sense of relief at moving into the next couple of selections.

Highlights:

…making mad rubles…the literary equivalent of Buckley’s…Archie became the new wrestling/Star Trek (but fear not…the boys still brought up this tripe as well)…the hedgehog and Milo Minderbinder…’the best scotch I ever had was rum’…mount gay marriage…an afterparty at the Bull…the Iron Sheik…

Until next we meet…Slainte!

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– Curt