I attended a little moviegoing party for Chelsea, who won the Brattle's yearly All-Request Raffle. She got to pick her own double feature for the night and enjoy a pre-film food-n-drink kinda thing at Noir in Harvard Square, all expenses paid (to a point.) The staff at the bar were nice and continually brought out little noshers for us -- croquettes, skewers of various protein type things with different sauces, some pretty nice shrimp, and dark chocolate-covered pretzels for dessert. Did I mention it was an open bar? Okay, I did. We were graciously allowed to indulge ourselves in food and drink.
I decided to do what a fellow seeking adventure and indulgence tends to do, and for my last drink of the evening, after tactfully ascertaining that we had hardly scratched the surface of the evening's alotted budget (the guest list was allowed 20 guests; I think we had under 10) ordered the most expensive drink.
The Macallan 25-year single highland malt scotch.
This stuff goes for around $400 a bottle. It is a magical potion, reverently worshiped by some and desired by others. A single glass at the bar this evening would run $40. I would have been just as happy with an $11 glass of Glenfiddich, no question about it ... but when would I be in the position again to even consider making such a drink request? We were told to indulge ourselves, so...
Macallan 25-year, neat, with water on the side, please.
I was giddy with anticipation, and I'm not even a scotch Connoisseur-With-A-Capital-C. I like the stuff, make no doubt about it, but I couldn't use the words "smoky with hints of peat and chocolate cassis" to describe a drink and expect anyone, myself included, to take me seriously.
And I waited. And waited. And waited. The show was going up at 8:00 and here it was 7:45 and my scotch hadn't shown up. When 7:50 rolled around, so did my drink.
On the rocks.
I can already hear some people of certain scotch-loving persuasions now pulling at their hair, gnashing their teeth, rending their garments and sending their blood pressure through the roof. This is to be expected. You can put blended scotch on ice, sure, no problem. Your Johnnie Walker Cheap, fine, cool it off with a few bits of ice and you'll be happy.
But for some, drinking single malt on the rocks, especially one of the most revered single malts around, is tatamount to buying, say, a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona coupe, only to install neon on the undercarriage, spinning hubcaps, license plate frame made up of real chain link, and finally slapping on two stickers: one of a bootlegged Calvin peeing on a Mercedes-Benz logo and one reading "GAS, GRASS OR ASS - NOBODY RIDES FREE."
If circumstances had been different, I would have politely requested the drink sent back and a new one procured just as I'd ordered. But, frankly, we were pressed for time, it wasn't my tab, and I couldn't exactly fish all the ice cubes out and not look like more of a fool than I already was. And I could not stand the thought of having had a most expensive and wonderful drink from a most expensive bottle poured just for me, only for me to send it back, where presumably it'd go down the drain (but hopefully down the hatch of one of our servers or the bartender instead.)
So I drank it on ice. What else could I do?
It would have been nice to taste it all the way through, without the melted ice watering up the last bits, but even so, I can state that it was absolutely amazing. Smooth and golden and incredibly delicious. Smoky with hints of peat and chocolate cassis. I had it and you didn't.
The movies I'll talk about in another post. I enjoyed them both, too. But this post is all about what happens when one gets a very rare opportunity to enjoy something in a fashion which they shouldn't have. I committed a most egregious drinking sin through no fault of my own, but I enjoyed it and that's what counts, dammit. So don't say a Hail St. Pauli Girl for me. I'll repent sometime. Maybe. Not now. Not while I'm still feeling the glow.