Aug 232013

Liquorature Gathering #027 – “The Maltese Falcon” (Dashiell Hammett)

Date:  April, 2011

Host – Pat

Whisky:  Bruichladdich Sherry Classic, Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX, Finlaggan

Rum:  Diplomatico Exclusiva


I was afear’d of this one.  Easy read…little bit of history perhaps, in terms of genre impact…but how much was there really to discuss about this novel featuring the debut of Hammett’s uber-dick, Sam Spade?  Well…lots actually.  Quite a pleasant surprise to realize, part way through this gathering, that we had been on topic for nearly 2 hours.

Alas…I put the cart before the horse.  Let’s start from the beginning.

Laughs came early.  Primarily at the expense of Ostby, who somehow managed to be 45 minutes late, while living literally across the street from Pat’s place.  The jokes ensued about traffic issues and problems getting a cab.  Witty bunch, ain’t we?

The worst part about this delay was the tantalizing seafood chowder and unopened bottles sitting on the counter, which had us salivating like a teen’er over Megan Fox.  We held off as long as we could, Clint…I swear.

This little fest took place on the RROC block.  Pat’s pad, to be precise.  A couple of us scallywags and scoundrels were in cahoots behind the backs of the rest of the collective and smuggled in an old mate for the festivities.  Bauer!  Our fallen comrade, who chose Saskabush over the excesses Cowtown had to offer, was through town for a couple of days.  I primed him on the monthly pick so he’d be able to read up and join in.  We became the G9 for this night.  The boys were tickled pink to have our gone-but-ne’er-forgotten-br’er back in the midst.  Good times.  Interestingly…even with 9 we were able to control it, though there were a few tottery moments when I feared things would go off the rails.

Pat paid a visit to our mate, Andrew Ferguson, down at the Kensington Wine Market for some insight into picking and purchasing a few drams we may not have tried to date.  Indeed all three were new to the whole gang.  A Bruichladdich ‘classic’ (Uh…not sure ’bout that.  Watch for review to come) that just didn’t seem to be firing on all cylinders…a Finlaggen (The eve’s mystery malt.  Where the hell is this from?  …And don’t say Islay)…and a Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX that is getting raves out there (Jury’s out here though).  Oh yeah…and a rum (a Diplomatico) for the traitorous swine among us.  ;)

The book?  Overwhelmingly well received.  Seems the genre is quite appreciated, and the tale itself exceedingly so. It is sorta becoming a theme as we knock off some of these literary cornerstones, that the central tenet of conversation revolves around the book’s sphere of influence.  In this case, of course, The Maltese Falcon helped define a sub-genre of crime fiction.  Y’know…fedora…trenchcoat…dame…fisticuffs…cigarette after cigarette and drink after drink…and buckloads of machismo.  Dark and defining.  Lovely stuff really.  We all felt a little emasculated by comparison to the tough-as-nails Spade.

Should note here…

We seem to be on a fine run of books right now and a helluva good spree of get-togethers.  Speaks volumes for the company we keep, methinks.  Should also mention…though we dented (quite heavily) the bevy selections on offer, all were on best behavior.  The…uh…aftermath from our last soiree sat none too well with spouses nor stomachs.  There’s a price to be paid for our gallant attempts at Spade-esque machismo.  Not sure any of us are man enough to pay those prices though.

Anyway…cheers, Pat!  Another good pick and fine eve.  Well done.


The randoms:  Jessica Rabbit…Bauer being back for a session…Silverback wolves with unicorn heads…Galt’s Gulch on Google Map…The Power Of Two…Regarding rum: “I don’t like it”…the deforestation movement…two 7s beats a frush.


Bauer, as usual, brings his full concentration to bear on the conversation...D7K_2807D7K_2813D7K_2811
– Curt