Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Saturday to remember

            Saturday, a few of us gathered at casa-de-Squish for a celebration of beer, bourbon, and BBQ.  We wanted to recreate the local festival of the same name in a relaxed environment.  Man that was a party.

            The twelve of us ordered take out from Andy Nelson’s BBQ.  The participants brought a selection of whiskey, ciders, and beers—emphasis on the whiskey and cider.  K&K brought some home crafted sparkling alcoholic blueberry juice and Southern comfort.  I think they brought some beers as well, but honestly, I don’t remember.  The juice came from a home-craft set you can pick up on Amazon called spike my juice.  You take a 64oz bottle of your favorite fruit juice, drop in one of the yeast packets, screw on the provided vented top and let sit for 2-4 days.  The yeast converts the sugar into alcohol venting the extra gas through the top while it self-carbonates.  Based on several reviews, there’s an art to getting the alcohol content to the desired level while leaving the right amount of sweet in the drink.  We’ve ordered one of the kits and should have a test batch to try this weekend.  I’m looking at making my own Southern Comfort as well because this stuff is a-ma-zing—more on that later.
            There were several very nice bourbons on display.  I brought a selection of high end items I’ve been hording for just such an event.  While I brought three E.H. Taylors and Thomas Handy rye, it was my Elijah Craig that took the biggest hit.  I find it interesting that of all the premium bourbons I brought it was the least expensive of the batch that attracted the most attention.  Granted, it’s my favorite for value and flavor; but it was a little odd.  Number two was the willett.  It had a very bold flavor that appealed to everyone.
            Amongst the alcoholic wonderland several of us settled down to try a game of iron & Ale. I&A is a dwarven themed drinking card game.  My lovely wife backed it on kickstarter for me as a gift a couple years ago and this was the first chance I had to take it for a spin—and man what a spin.  Game play involves each player picking a dwarven lord.  Each lord has a special ability so most people will want to randomize the selection.  Then the person with the best beard starts.  Each player in turn draws up to 2 cards from the mountain deck which is composed of monster fights and different kinds of metal ingots.  Then they draw one physical challenge.  If you win a fight or challenge you keep the card and the associated honor.  The player with the most honor at the end of the game wins.  The way the rules are written makes clear that players are encouraged to bet on challenges, play side games, and generally carouse in typical dwarven fashion.  Many of the penalties and contests involve “drinking” whatever one happens to be holding at the time.  Since several players started off with bourbon things got interesting quickly.  Things we learned after playing two rounds of the game:
1.       Next time we play drinks will be standardized for alcoholic content and volume.
2.       I still can’t beat Squish at arm wrestling.
3.       Doctor ninja will run out of energy punching my arm before I flinch.
4.       I can do more pushups than anyone in the group.
5.       Game needs to be sleeved.
6.       Those Lego drinking glasses need to be drunk from the flat side.
7.       Standing on one foot and drinking is hard,

That list says a lot about how much fun this game is.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.  It put two of our Dwarven clan on the floor, but them’s the breaks.  I can’t wait for the expansion we preordered to come in.
      Cleaning up the next day it turned out that most of our friends left their booze at Squish’s.  He didn’t want it which leaves me in an interesting place.  I have so much bourbon.  Some of the lower end stuff will get turned into cuffs and buttons:
That is going to be some serious experimenting—especially if I end up mixing it up with our nitrogen infuser.  God, I love science.

      The afternoon and subsequent evening recovery period were a great deal of fun.  I oft time wax professorial on fine spirits, games, and food.  I enjoy the finer things in life as grace notes to memorable moments.  The element that makes those moments worth remembering is fellowship.  Saturday was filled with pleasant company.  Thanks to all who made it possible.

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