Today is something of a short-circuited day. I will be heading to a dinner event at a nearby downtown hotel with my friend J. Once there, we will have a buffet dinner, sample an abundance of single malt whiskies (but not too abundant to drive), and perhaps indulge in a fine cigar or two. This has upset my usual daily routine, and I am telecommuting to work today. Thanks to the power of effective home broadband and virtual private networks, I can be nearly as efficient at home as at work.
It is amazing how tastes change over years. There was a time when I would have found the idea of drinking whisky and smoking a cigar over the course of an evening to be repugnant. When it comes to really cheap whisky and lots of lousy cigars, I still do. Ick. I can still remember the first time I tried whisky (Johnnie Walker Black, I think) at my friend L.'s place when I was about 19. The peat taste stuck with me through the entire evening and remembering it during my hangover the following day made me shiver a bit.
I believe that the turning point for whisky when I visited the Vaults of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh '99. That was when I first got to taste several really good single malts right next to each other. That finally allowed me to understand the differences and comprehend some of the attraction. Since then, my appreciation has just grown.
For cigars, I just knew a few too many people who decided to visit Cuba or bring in duty-free Cuban cigars in from Europe in the late 90's. So, I would get together with them on New Years Eve or a wedding, getting a cigar shoved in my hand, and then smoking it. Cigars are not something I will ever do on a regular basis, but, a good Cuban, Dominican, or Honduran cigar is a good occasional (once or twice a year) distraction, especially when complimented with a good brandy, port, or whisky. (Victorian gentlemen did have some good ideas along those lines at least...)
on 2003-11-06 at 11:39 a.m.
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