Thursday, May 14, 2009

The one that got away...


In honour of our upcoming inaugural meeting I thought I might offer a post reflecting on my long love affair with the Single Malt, and perhaps a story by way of demonstration. I found however, that there were too many happy memories to identify one which stands out, one which captures the unique satisfaction to be obtained from a dram of single malt liquid gold.

There are many occasions I could have chosen:
  • My Father's thoughtful introduction to whisky when I joined the Army (he insists on single malt Scotch though I am unclear why as his preferred consumption method is half schooner glasses). This proved to be a rather messy affair and my recollection of it is hazy at best.
  • Waking up face first in a Liverpool gutter circa 1998, after a night on the Johnny Red. Again a somewhat hazy recollection.
  • Visiting a Scotch distillery on my honeymoon. A blissful experience that I will share at a latter date.
  • Sampling a 30 year old after the birth of my son and heir. Unfortunately I had consumed some other beverages at a local pub, and some more at home and so the details of this night are shrouded in mystery…
The list goes on and I found it hard to pick a single event but in the end I thought I'd settle on one that illustrates the elusive lure of whisky to the connoisseur.

For my honeymoon I was able to convince the wife that Scotland would be a suitable destination in which to spend some of our romantic getaway. There would be lovely scenery, golf courses, distilleries, golf courses and distilleries for us to see. She was unconvinced by most of my arguments but eventually consented to a small detour to Scotland during the trip. We had a lovely time and saw some once in lifetime panoramas. Edinburgh (Castle), St Andrews (1st Tee), Glasgow (Slums), Inverness (Rain), Dufftown (Glenfiddich Distillery), but my favourite site of all was the photo below (apologies for the poor quality photo, I was in a fit of excitement).

We were driving south through Speyside when we saw it. Needless to say, I am a committed Single Malt drinker, but on this occasion I was prepared to make an exception (my Father has long told me that if I was ever forced to drink a blend, then Chivas was probably the most suitable). I tried to persuade Jane that we could affect a carjacking (Truckjacking???) but she was unconvinced that my plan had merit (How would we dispose of the truck? What would we do with all that whisky? How would we get it through customs without paying extra for duty free goods?). I'll concede that I hadn't actually thought of solutions to these problems but I must say that I found these questions disconcerting coming from somebody who had recently promised to standby me through 'good times and bad'. I guess we will never know.

To this day, I wake up in a cold sweat, imagining what might have been!