Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The saddness was Total at the loss of things that might have been

Yes I know that I really should get back to Alex and Catherine but this is really important.
Well it's not really important as a matter of fact it's not worth a shit but it's my blog and I'll damn well post this if I want to.

I was over at Mr. Nobody’s over the Yule time thingy and I made some small comment about good Scotch, which I really do like, btw. Oh fuck "like it" I love it and I drink it a lot, but only for medicinal purposes you understand, I'm a very sick puppy and I need lots of medication.

Anywhoos Mr. Notamobster chimed in something about imbibing with a friend and 44 year old Glen Livet. This was just plain cruel, I mean to say this to a man who is forced to drink Livet that is by any standard adolescent at best, why it's only basked in the cask for a paltry twenty years, a mere babe in the wood so to speak.

Many years ago while living in the UK I went on a tour of Scottish Distilleries with a friend who was an importer of fine spirits for the Café Royal in London. Now this was not a tour of the main stream distilleries but rather a tour of small out of the way distilleries who serviced perhaps 40 or 50 local pubs and had done so in many cases for perhaps hundreds of years. The aim of these places had never been to be big like the Glen Livets or Glen Fidicks but rather just to be the very best. Most of their products are not exported outside of the general local in which they are made. The exception would be a few cases sold to specialty houses like the Café Royal, The Savoy or other fine hotels in Europe.

Oh and what a tour it was, to be taken down into the storage cellars, to see casks of Scotch that I had never heard the name of, and then to be offered a wee dram but only a wee dram from a dust covered cask in the very back of the cellar. A cask as I was told had been placed there by the present owner’s great great great grandfather. My God what a privilege and such an honor, and Oh the taste, truly a nectar of the gods.

You see the tradition in Scottish distillers is that when a fellow takes over the business from his father his first few casks are set in the back and never bottled, sort of a family history thing. They say it’s to keep them humble but I’ve never met a humble Scotsman yet so it must be something else.

No matter this post is not about Scotch, its about Cognac, two bottles of 152-year-old Napoleon Courvoisier VSOP Cognac to be more precise and the pain of losing it along with my dignity.

It all started when I moved to England with my wife who was from London, to do some work in a Bioresearch lab at the royal Academy of Science.
As luck would have it the time frame was off by a few weeks and my lab was not yet quite finished so I was given the choice of standing around doing nothing or leave for two weeks and come back to a finished lab. I took the latter choice.

Now I had nothing to do but putter around London, a town I might add that I had taken an immediate dislike to and I would like to think that the feeling was mutual. To me living in London was at best like washing ones feet in dirty water, then taking said dirty water calling it beer and drinking it. And lets not get started on what passes for food in England, suffice it to say that the first decent meal that I had in the first six months was when the first McDonalds opened up in central London, YUK. It’s a wonder that that shit passes at all.

So as I had nothing to do my brother in law asked me if I would like to help him out for awhile, I said yes. I should have known better as my brother in law could best be described as a Thug or as they say in London a Minder. He worked for a huge land developer in central London and as such his job was to remove or evict squatters from deserted buildings that were to be renovated. At the time London had a huge squatter problem so there was no shortage of work.

One day after giving a bunch of people the boot we were in the process of chucking their stuff out onto the street when I saw a small box, I picked it up and it clinked, yuh know that bottle sound. I opened it up and low and behold inside were TWO bottles of Napoleon Courvoisier VSOP Cognac wax sealed and stamped 1866. This was the year of bottling, the real age was some forty years older but no matter as Cognac once bottled does not improve with age as the alcohol content is to high. So like who the hell cares if it gets any better or not?

I asked my brother in law what I should do with the bottles and he said "you found them and if You don’t take em I will".. Then after weighing the morality crap for all of twenty seconds I took them.

Later that night back at my bil’s I placed them on the mantle to be admired until my wife and I could find our own flat. A few days later after a long days work kicking homeless people out of their hovels I returned home to find that my Little nieces and nephews (bless their little souls) had decided to help mommy clean house, more precisely to clean the bathroom floor. Now any reasoning creature would look under the sink for cleansers with which to clean bathroom floors but as we all know children are not reasoning creatures, hell most of the time they are just barely human. So where did they look for cleanser? Under the sink? Not on your fucking life did they look under the sink. Nooooooo they looked up at the fireplace mantle and there was the object of their quest, not one but TWO bottles of the finest bathroom floor cleaner this world had ever seen.

I don’t know which was worse , losing the Cognac or listening to my wife and sister in law cackling and holding their sides to keep them from splitting as I crawled around the bathroom whimpering and licking the floor. It’s not a pretty thing to see a grown man weep all the while screaming the words ALL GONE ALL GONE Oh great 80 proof spirit why haste thou forsaken me? Over and over again.


Penny said...

hey silverfish, a quick hello. I feel a little schmucky but, I've been a tad busy....
are hope you are enjoying things.. not too much though ;)

nobody said...

Hey Silv, I haven't read yet but I've saved to desktop and shall read at home. Otherwise matey, I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. Will you be with family and friends? Anyway I wish you and yours a marvellous day with all the food and drink, fun and laughter. Best, nobody.

the Silverfish said...

Never to much Pen, never to much.
Hope Yuh get feeling better soon.

the Silverfish said...

Thanks Chum, but no family here, at least not blood ties.
The herd have all arrived and will be staying till sometime in the new year. I believe I have said that we are Wiccan and as such do not do the xmas thingy, our big day is on the 21st as in Yule or the solstice.

The gatherings here can be a bit of a bitch at times as people come from as far as Southern California as well as several provinces in Canada, but it normaly works out well. just one big happy bunch.

Hope you have a REALLY GREAT TIME during this season. have fun and catch a wave for me if Yuh can.
It's been far to many year that I have seen a board, not much call for them here in central Canada although I do have a bitchin sail board complete with kevlar and carbon fibre sail. Sad that because of health I don't get to use it much anymore but such is life. Anyway take care and have a good one.

Penny said...

hi silverfish:
thanks for the well wishes and right back at ya!
I had an accident christmas eve,(not a car accident) ended up in emerg.
so I have been out of sorts, so to speak...
generally ok, but out of sorts...
hope it was a good day for you and yours

nobody said...

Hey Silv,

I finally got around to reading this and ended up laughing my head off. What fun. You'll forgive me if I say that there was a certain degree of poetic justice in the whole caper, what with 'ill-gotten goods', blah blah blah. Otherwise, Napoleonic brandy, good God!

That aside, your trip to the little distilleries of Scotland sounded like some kind of dream trip. I've often thought of doing something like that.

Anyway thanks mate, I enjoyed it immensely.

the Silverfish said...

Yeah my friend ill gotten goods an all, but the loss of the Brandy was the very smallest part of that little adventure. Just think of a house formally owened by Jonn Singer Sargent, a very large painting and an idiot brother in law.

nobody said...

Okay, I thought of those things... and now what? I don't quite get it. Mind you, I was always a fan of John Singer Sargent. A real genius for putting 'dark' into a painting. Pretty pictures, but full of dark. Very good.

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