29 November 2007

MARCVS CRAPVLARIVS: the tranquil glen

The new spirit here at Roma Aeterna is called Glenmorangie, and I had to flog most of the staff to find out how to say it properly in the barbarian tongue. (It rhymes with "orangey.") It means "the valley of tranquility" and is--I'm told--hand-crafted by "The Sixteen Men of Tain." Now I'm sure these Caledonian fellows are clever and all, but it seems impossible that it only takes 16. I probably have 16 working in the stables alone, not to mention the orchards, vineyards, granary, and household. (I can never keep track--they keep dying off and being born, and some I ship away--that is why I have a staff.) Regardless, these whisky-men got the terribly original notion to age the stuff in wine barrels. Imagine! The Iberian Gauls make madeira out on the Purple Islands, and somehow the used barrels find their way north. (They must have good help.) The whisky, naturally, is a rough and uncultured brew, but the madeira "finish" has a, naturally, civilizing influence. The result is a dangeroulsy quaffable drink! The bottle is almost empty this morning! I must say, even I would never have thought of using wine to improve whisky, but what a breakthrough. Rumor has it that burgundy barrels are used as well. No wonder I can't get any decent Gallic wines.

a.d. III Kal. Dec.

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