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

Aug 232013
 

Liquorature Gathering #033 – “Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban”

Date:  October, 2011

Host – Lance

Whisky:  Smokehead

Rum:  Abuelo 12 Anos, Barbancourt 15 y.o., Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof

 

Welcome back, Bauer.  He of the hokey hat made a triumphant return to Liquorature after a much maligned absence, and the lads in the collective were glad to have the circle come back together.  The G8 becomes the G9 from here on out.  This is the largest iteration the club has ever boasted and I’d be lyin’ if I didn’t say I had reservations.  Not about kid brother (well…not really a brother, but…) coming back, but simply about the number of voices in the room.  All turned out well however.  Just means a little policin’ every now and then if things get too…errr…rowdy.

As e’er, Lance’s meets are rum nights.  Since we stoop to accommodate his sweet tooth on other club nights with a bottle of rum, so he deigns to condescend to the vices of the more snootily-inclined among us who stick to the malts (ahem…your faithful servant, moi).  Hey…fair for the goose is fair for the gander, no?  ‘Sides…we all know rum makes the mind soft and the *** shrink, right?  (Or is that the other way around?)

On offer this eve?  Abuelo 12 Anos, Barbancourt 15 y.o. and Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof.  A couple of these juices actually had some of the boys singing praises.  A few of us were still not won over to the Cane Side however.  So…we stuck to the Smokehead.  This single malt, for those not in the know, is an Islay whisky which is marketed so as to obscure its pedigree.  Which distillery produces this?  I have ideas, but mum’s the word.  Actually… ‘yum’s the word.  This stuff ain’t bad at all.

Alas…we like to deceive ourselves into thinking this is a book club and not a drinking club, so…on to the tale…

Lance took a flyer on this one.  The gamble was that this novel (book three of seven in the canon) could and would stand alone.  Risky little endeavor really.  I was a wee bit skeptical, but ‘hm’, said I… ‘we’ll see’.  My cynicism proved unfounded; the truth won out and Sage Surujbally was vindicated.

The story…well…it was ok.  Little better than ok, actually, but it’s a tough thing to disassociate this one work from the whole.  J.K. Rowling’s influence and over-arching literary contributions tend to skew one’s perspective on the actual story at hand.  This in itself made for interesting talking points, I should add.  At the end of the day though, this was no more or less than a fun read and a touchstone that should be considered a point of reference for generations to come.  From the gang…quite a warm reception.

Honored guest this eve, Anatoly, was a welcome addition.

 

Randoms: 1st question…’why do I drink rum?’ … “F*ck War and Peace” … “Going on a hike with Sam Gamgie” … “Mandingo of Borg” … LOTR argument” … Bauer’s return … “Tito Hood” … Goodkind … “Comic Book Guy on Slimfast” … “Quick Quote Quill – with alliteration to spare” … Robert’s book choice announcement: ‘Cleyshot Cliffs’ … “Before you say anything…prepare to shut the f*ck up” … Anatoly sitting in.

 

– Curt