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19 November 2019


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English Outsider

Probably. Colonel, that guess results from putting two and two together about a bet you also made a little while ago, the one you are hoping to lose. I wouldn't say that constitutes proof but there's definitely a smoking gun there.



If you say so ...



I’m not a party to this bet.

However, your memory is correct, I did receive a bottle of Pappy’s for my birthday some moons ago before it went cult. SWMBO paid $95 for it then. As you can see from Tidewater’s comment the price has escalated significantly if you can even snag one from a retailer that can get an allocation from the wholesaler. It sure is a fine bourbon. Craft spirits have definitely pushed the envelope on quality and there are now many fine spirits available.



Ah so!, as Mr. Moto would say. I see. "How do you know that?" A question oft asked in one of the past vocations, as I recall. Well, I didn't know, actually. Careless. (Was this a little lesson in close reading?) And there was one glitch in the profile that did puzzle me and should have been a caution. Though I was bedazzled by a lot of surprising insights into the amber which I knew as Rebel Yell or Virginia Gentleman (from A. Smith Bowman who I just found out had the first name of Abram) from the time that I never had hangovers, till the time that I did, when I had to give bourbon up, switch to Scotch, and then had to give that up too, move on to the grape, where I should have been to begin with. (Though it always took me three glasses of jug wine and a little gagging before I got right with it. And then one day the wine in the groceries, like the peanuts, and the cheese, got a lot better.)

It was the Kaintuck angle that I should have noticed. That was not in the profile as developed. Still the glitch could be overlooked as a kind of grunt-ish foible, maybe. Or would have to do with the more er rambunctious LJ than his SST pix indicates, or perhaps the old stomping grounds. Appropriately symbolic, too. Camp on the Watauga, Hannah's Cowpens, King's Mountain, the Presbyterian invention of the pew (to slide out of in a hurry), the origin of the Rangers, the steady Overhill militia at Guilford Court House with homemade rifles lined up on the lowest rail of the split rail fence. And bourbon went there with them, I think that is certain enough.

Still, what the profile suggested to me was that it should have been a bet about something, say, from the Haut Medoc, perhaps a bottle of Chateau Petrus from Pomerol (Bordeux) maybe about 2012, and not the 1945 (a new Mercedes), just something more reasonable I see knocked down at $2499.99 at one loci. Or a Domaine Leroy Chambertin Grand Cru Cote de Nuits (Burgundy) for $1400.00. That could be considered gruntish, too. Napoleon is said to have drunk Chambertin every day. If he wasn't allowed to get it shipped in to him on St. Helena it wasn't the intense humidity of the rainy island climate on the arsenic in the wallpaper that did for him. And that would be really perfidious. Though thinking about it, I can see his jailors finding the steady predictable arrival of the Chambertin by mail packet like from Chewy.com a good thing for one and all...

Maybe I am right about this one, though: Someone here has a bet with Mr. William Binney.

Could it be a bottle of wine?


Yes, you are quite right. And very nicely put. I have had a grubby kind of adult life keeping one eye out for cheap, acceptable booze. So I emitted a kind of inadvertent Rorshach. Besides, I think the fiery, precious Kaintuck will be shared among a group of very smart, worldly wise, and hard old spooky guv'mint guys, sometime after Thanksgiving. Like a meeting of the Norwegian Resistance. To be a fly on the wall as to the toasts...


You 'multiple' covers you, but not me, and thanks for the comment. But it was a trap. Interesting, too.



I still drink VG

English Outsider

Napoleon either did a lot of entertaining on St Helena or he hit the bottle seriously hard. He had hogsheads of Constantia wine delivered from nearby Groot Constantia to the amount of thirty bottles a month. Other sources say two or three bottles a day. "A floral desert wine that, 200 years ago, was one of the most sought after of its day. Crates were shipped to the royal courts of Europe". (Alex Perry, "The Rift".)

They still make it -


The sales pitch quotes Jane Austen as warranting its "healing powers on a disappointed heart" but I reckon those healing powers would have to be quite something to make up for that final cry of "La Garde Recule!"

I liked your alcoholic Odyssey above. May it long continue.



What I remember about VG is that it comes in a full quart size. More bang for the buck. I am sure that that had not gone unnoticed in Richmond-in-Virginia, a frugal environment. I never understood Kentucky whisky the way I later thought I understood Scotch. My father used to travel with a fifth of bourbon in a sturdy little travel case. This went on voyages down the ICW as well. It went everywhere. He never moved without that little case. I remember meeting up with my parents and their close friends the Gibsons in their room at the George Washington hotel in Mayfair, London, when I was coming back from my only journey 'to the East' in 1976. (I had read some Hesse and was conscious of this being a dramatic sort of Steppenwolf moment, at least as far as I was concerned.) There was that familiar battered little case, opened up with maybe it was a bottle of VG or maybe it was that black labelled Jack Daniels, which I didn't realize was a Tennessee whiskey, out on the table. I think Stuart G. had his own case, too. I noticed a silver jigger that had belonged to his late brother. They had a fairly complete bar set up. There might have even been some lemons and vermouth. They were watching a British gardening program in prime news time. Very laid back. My mother said merrily when I gave her a big hug: "Greetings!" It was all kind of touching. I don't think I ever saw my father buy a bottle of wine or talk about wine. I suppose he drank it if it was put in front of him. No interest at all.

We had neighbors down at the river who occasionally invited the wife's mother to spend a weekend with them. One such long weekend had gone very well. Surprisingly well. Granny had been in fine spirits. There was some confusion during departure on Monday and Grandmother's suitcase got backed over by the car. There was a loud 'crunch' and then a strong smell of alcohol. Granny had brought two bottles of vodka with her to get through the weekend. All was understood.



VG is now made in Kentucky.



I was just reading up on VG in some of these blogs I never heard of with names like 'Modern Thirst.' What I get is that VG has an initial distillation in Kentucky at Buffalo Trace in a "high rye mash bill" and then is shipped to Bowman near Fredericksburg, where it is redestilled and barrelled. The barrels are stacked and allowed to age for a time. Then, and this is where it gets interesting, Bowman ships most of the barrels to Baltimore where they are bottled as VG. But the best of the barrels are kept for Bowman brands. Wonder if this is true.

I see that they can do the same kind of critique on whisky they do on wine. Modern Thirst guy pulls an old bottle of VG out of the back bottom shelf of his cellarette that has been there for years and critiques it: "A little vanilla on the nose, and a touch of oak." And: "This is a mild whisky, especially after essentially decanting in the bottle so long. [!] There is a note of corn and light
butterscotch on the tip of the tongue, which gives way to some tannins and oakiness at the end of the tasting." [I think the 'oakiness'--flavor of wood-- could be from the cellarette.]
Anyway, I remember a mild whisky, I think.


For a bit there I thought Groot Constantia was an island near St. Helena that I had never heard of! I looked up Cape Town--Constantia on Wiki and got the picture. So the Dutch were making a good wine in Constantia by the mid-seventeenth century. Nineteen hundred miles seems to me not nearby, though I admit it is a routine passage for a sailing ship. Lot of sugar in a dessert wine. Thank you for your comments.

Did you ever hear the story that the Napoleon at St. Helena out there in the Atlantic off the Namibia coast was a double? The real Napoleon made his escape to the other St. Helena Island, in Beaufort County, South Carolina, according to Gullah legend.

English Outsider

I doubt that on the grounds that if he'd made it to the States the US would now stretch from Siberia to Tierra del Fuego. A great captain, Napoleon, and had rotten luck at Waterloo. A damn close run thing indeed.

Trouble is he was also a complete bastard and very light on the touchy-feely stuff. You get that sort on the Continent every now and again so we have to go over regularly and sort them out. Gets to be a bore but Noblesse Oblige and all that.

Put that last in in case Vig, who may just possibly be LeaNder though the style's slightly different, wants some English Exceptionalism to knock.

On the drinks front I have to confess to being a complete fraud, from the viewpoint of the average SSTer with his or her well stocked cellar. At present I'm occupied with palming off some decidedly weird home brewed cider on unsuspecting guests. Not always successfully. My home brewed beer's OK though. Compares well with German beer, which is for me the Gold Standard. A decent Single Malt every now and again and that's about it.

So I can admire your Odyssey, and the recollections that go with it, but not emulate it.


Looks like CNN is rolling out the official deep state CYA defense: some underling intentionally altered an intelligence report that set off this whole Trump spy gate caper.

First clue this is not the real story, but a fake narrative, is it was breaking news on CNN. Some bottom-feeding dweeb is being set up to take the fall and provide plausible deniability for those further up the food chain.

At least that is the way it looks from here. Two wild cards the deep state did not plan for - Trump winning and Trump not going down no matter how hard and how long they kept hitting him. Including last nights Democrat debate which was nothing other than more Trump gas-lighting.

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