Liquorature Gathering #028 – “Timeline” (Michael Crichton)
Date: May, 2011
Host – Robert
Whisky: Alberta Premium 25 y.o., Alberta Premium 30 y.o., Woodford Reserve, Bruichladdich 12 y.o. Manzanilla WP Exclusive
Rum: El Dorado 15 y.o.
Each outing to the acreage is a tale unto itself. If ever there was a time and place to enforce the first (and second) rule of book club (“You do *not* talk about book club”), this would be it. Without spilling too much, this is a place where the guys get to be guys. Drinks, cigars, fire, man-food, volume and shameless red-light conversation. To cop a phrase from Gordie Johnson, ‘a heaven in Alberta’.
Generally we’d sit around the firepit outside, but sadly we were rained (not reined) in this time. Oh well.
Typically these nights start off with a feast before we settle in to our glasses and pretentions, and this eve was no exception. Phenomenal French Onion soup, followed by Caesar salad and flame-grilled burgers. This was only the first grill session of the night, I should add. The second was…hm…a wee bit later and much less sober.
For the second time, Mike joined us as Bob’s guest, adding another cane-swiller to the collective. I’m starting to look at these guys as heroes and martyrs. Drinking the rum so the rest of us can enjoy the whisky being somewhat akin to jumping on a grenade for your friends. Well done, lads…well done. Your selfless gesture has not gone unnoticed.
Speaking of bevies…Robert trotted out a couple of rare old 100% rye whiskies from Alberta Premium, the 25 and 30 year, both stunning and undervalued (by those setting the price point anyway…not by the hordes of consumers snapping it up at great deals). These Canadian whiskies were complimented by a Woodford Reserve bourbon, muled back from Bob’s trip to the Master’s a few months back (much to his chagrin, as he found it readily available upon his return), and an old friend in the Willow Park Exclusive 12 year old Manzanilla Bruichladdich. Neat change to have a night dominated primarily by North American fare.
Though I am not certain all of the gang weighed in, I believe the general consensus was that the AP25 was just a shade better than the AP30. Sadly…the 25 is long gone now and the 30 is going the way of the dodo as we speak. Hope all who wanted it stocked up while they could. I know I did. The years are long, and the friends are many.
Back to the cane juice. Bob, in deference to Lance’s having missed it last time ‘round, re-introduced the El Dorado 15 year old. Think this one is a favorite of a few. A few vintages from this distillery have been presented for Liquorature gatherings. More still gather dust on the shelves of Sage Surujbally. Fear not, casual readers, one day we’ll woo him from the Dark Side and have him groveling before the mighty Islay malt. One day…
On to the book. “Timeline”, by the sadly deceased Michael Crichton. While generally well-received, a few were of the opinion that it was not Crichton’s strongest work. The book was a recommendation to Bob from a staffer down at Chapters, based on Bob knowing the author he wanted, but not which novel to choose. Regardless…fun read. I’ve read this one a couple of times now and enjoyed it each time. A wee bit less this go ‘round, but it was still yards better than much out there.
Some criticism was reserved for the obligatory happy ending, wafer-thin (Monty Python, anyone?) characters and ‘convenience of character’ (as I have dubbed it). Props for good adventure and a foray into historical fiction, a favorite genre of a few of us.
Conversation circled (inevitably) back to Schrödinger’s Cat, with some “how can you believe…?” ribbing from Ruminsky to Bob, aka Mr. “A is A”, as Lance refers to him. Personally, I was surprised at such a widespread acceptance of the multiverse idea. Not saying anything other than it was somewhat of a shock to see how readily most embraced this concept.
The whole ‘if you could go back in time, where/when would you go?’ question arose. As did the ‘would you do it?’ one. These ‘what if?’ scenarios are often my favorite parts of our discussion, as you are afforded glimpses into all of our personal make-ups. Neato.
Aside from that…not a lot to discuss with this one. A few times now we have run across a selection that, while an enjoyable read, elicited little conversation. Occasionally the opposite is also true (“The Idiot”, anyone?). Meh…can’t win ‘em all.
Finally, for those that watched, or watched a few minutes and turned off, the film…there was a near-unanimous disgust with this botched abortion. We were all somewhat perplexed as to how anyone could f*ck up something so inherently visual and filmable.
After exhausting all worthy topics of discourse, we retired to the deck for a treat courtesy of our host extraordinaire. Bob passed out some sexy-as-hell Romeo y Julietas for those of us who like a fine cigar. Beautiful little distraction that was nicely complimented by that cask strength ‘Laddich.
From here the night belongs to the boys. No more details for the masses.
As always…thanks for another great night, Bob…and thanks to all for making this what it is. Time and again I sit back in awe of what we have forged. For all you contribute to this…
The randoms: “Suck it when I tell ya” (.com)…”Leonard and Sheldon? No. Wolowitz”…the smartest ******…a pair of old slippers…Mike’s reference to cougars as jailbait…a friendly wager on “The Stand”…midnight grilling…chatter of the group purchasing a cask…Romeo y Julietas…Mike’s sit-in.