Isn’t it interesting, the little snippets and stories that life brings you when you least expect it.
This is the first of three stories that have been relayed to me from the universe.
Like all good stories, two of them are true and verifiable. The third may well be true. Or not. You decide.
In keeping with this website’s title, the first and third stories are whisky-themed: the second will be about wine. Although the nature of the wine was such that it might just as well have been whisky!
This first story was told to me by Les.
It is a simple story and, in its own way, quite touching. It doesn’t have a particularly dramatic ending, but then it doesn’t really need one.
However, it does have a moral or two with a demonstration of the inventiveness of man in the face of adversity and the single-minded lengths he is prepared to go to for a quality dram.
Les is a fine, upstanding citizen, the sort of person who would not lead you too far astray. He is the kind of man upon whose opinion and views I would be happy to abide without question.
On top of that, as empirical evidence, he showed me a photograph on his cell phone of the bottle around which this story revolves. It is an important point that the photo was taken before the bottle was opened.
The story is about a bottle of Glenfarclas 15yo, a genuine amber delight. The bottle was apparently in the possession of Les’s friend. The friend’s name isn’t recorded, but for the sake of simplicity let’s call him Alfred. Alfred hails from the sunshine state of Queensland in Australia
Alfred apparently had owned this bottle of Glenfarclas for some considerable time and it was unopened when Les was first introduced to it a week or so back.
The back story is that Alfred did not like to drink alone; he may also have been a bit short of friends that he thought suitable enough to share the Glenfarclas with.
Fair enough – his whisky, his call.
Anyway, when Les hove into view Alfred obviously considered him of sufficient calibre to merit the unveiling of the bottle. And such was done.
The usual opening ritual started, with the bottle’s seal being broken and the cork being removed for the first time to allow access to the amber delight inside.
Now comes the sad part.
The cork suddenly decided to part company with accepted tradition and spontaneously disintegrated, leaving the bulk of itself floating unceremoniously on the top of the aforementioned amber delight. In the bottle!
Now, Kiwis and Aussies are generally very resourceful people and have access to a range of rather make-shift solutions to any problem. And this case is no exception.
Alfred had an electric kettle. Not an unusual thing in itself – maybe he liked a cup of tea now and again.
But he had noticed previously that the kettle spout had a fine mesh filter in it. This filter was obviously intended to remove the bigger lumps or smaller creatures that may have been in the local water supply before they made their way to the cup of tea.
- whisky needs the lumps of cork strained out without losing any of the amber liquid,
- kettle has strainer inside that takes the lumps out of whatever is being poured from the kettle.
It follows with elegant inevitability that the next stage was to give the kettle a brief but thorough internal cleaning to remove foreign bodies, other interlopers or anything else that might contaminate whisky. Then give it a thorough rinse and drying (because whisky at 46% generally does not need additional water!)
The next phase was to empty the contents from the corked whisky bottle into the nearly pristine kettle, and rid the now empty Glenfarclas bottle of any residual shards of cork that may have missed being poured into the kettle.
The last stage in this maintenance section was to carefully decant the whisky back from the kettle to the bottle, via the lump filter in the spout.
Result: all the bits of cork remain in the kettle (to be removed sometime, maybe) and the now cork-less whisky is back in the bottle.
And drinking can commence!
PS: as this story moved towards its end you may have noticed that the Glenfarclas bottle that now contains clean, cork-free 15yo whisky no longer has an operational cork to seal the remaining whisky.
Simple – finish the bottle!