Thanks to a confluence of circumstances that won’t be belabored here, I was unexpectedly gifted enough bottles of high-end liquor to at least partially restock Underbar after a somewhat busy Tuesday night. Everything from triple-distilled single-malt Scotch whiskey to Zacapa Rum sits in a neat row beside my desktop Mac; combine that with the boxes of Cohibas, the giant replica of the 12-gauge shotgun shell that doubles as a travel humidor, and the photograph of Ulysses S. Grant thumb-tacked to the wall (yes, that’s weird; no, don’t ask), and my desk now bears an uncanny resemblance to, say, Lee Marvin’s home office.
And to think, I don’t even really drink all that much; I’ll never be accused of trying to imitate Henry Miller (or Hank Moody, for that matter). But one of the bottles happened to be Rémy Martin 1989, the first single-harvest cognac since the Rémy Martin 1965, and my editor-in-chief and I decided to crack it open, if only so we could tell anyone who called early on a Tuesday evening that we were pulling a Hemingway and writing photo-essay captions while buzzing from top-shelf liquor.
In any case, those 18 years of aging in oak barrels offered a silky, caramel taste notes, with highlights of fig and clove. Haha, I kid. To my palate, relatively untested in high-octane spirits, it tasted like burning. Actually, that makes me sound like a bon vivant troglodyte; truth is, I did taste something of those storied notes – but not at the level of my editor, who wore an expression of intense spiritual rapture.
There is one side benefit to imbibing a few hundred dollars’ worth of product while doing magazine work, however: We ended up with some downright creative copy. Not to mention chronically misspelled.
Current Music: The Killers, “Uncle Jonny”
Current Movie: “Mad Men: Season One” (2008)
Current Book: “Snuff,” by Chuck Palahniuk