Quest for the Monk – Chapter 4: The Venezuelan Factor

Posted: June 28, 2010 in Uncategorized
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We had dinner with old friends the other night and when the host asked us what we wanted to drink, I declined as I always do saying I had stopped drinking ever since I quit smoking.  However, my wife decided to let then in on my secret and divulged that this was true in large part but that I did make one exception – Old Monk.  Unsurprisingly our hosts did not have a bottle tucked away in their liquor cabinet but they did offer me rum which I had never tried or heard of.  Since my wife had thrown my secret out there I felt I should oblige, do the polite thing and have at least one glass.  Turns out their rum had never been opened; so naturally I offered to leave it that way and insisted they don’t open it on my account.  But my host would have none of it.  So I volunteered to help open the bottle and pour myself a small drink, fully expecting to not like this rum.  Most people find champagne hard to open and some even wine bottles but rum bottles usually do not get onto that list.  I realised this was a special rum as my host and I both struggled to get past with what seemed like a dozen Victorian letters-worth of wax to finally open it after fifteen minutes of cutting our way through it.

I will admit that the whiff I took left me surprisingly impressed and more eager to try this dark rum.  And I was even more shocked when I took a sip to find it not only smooth, but sumptuous and perhaps even a close second to Old Monk!  As my palette savoured every sip I secretly decided that I had found a substitute for the time that I remained without the Monk.  Excitedly, I asked my hosts where they got the rum.  Their answer made me feel that perhaps I am destined not to drink or that my liver (after many years of quiet suffering) has managed to send a magical plea to the Universe to prevent me from drinking.  Turns out they had been gifted the bottle three years earlier by the bride’s uncle when they had travelled for a friend’s wedding – you ready for this – to Venezuela.  Yes, I said Venezuela.  The Uncle had special access and was able to procure a bottle of this precious liquid gold, which was even hard for Chavez to do at the time.  Of course I also learned the Uncle has since relocated to Miami, needless to say that by now Chavez must have taken over the company that made the rum and no doubt turned it into a water bottle factory for his people.  Good luck finding this rum in New York City I thought to myself as I sipped my tenth glass of the night…

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