My personal fantasy a work of complete fiction:
The following story never really happened but oh how I wish it were true!
The following story never really happened but oh how I wish it were true!
I was seated by the fireplace one late December Saturday evening enjoying a dram of Tobermory Scotch while staring at the coals in the fire watching them twist and turn and pop when the phone rang. It was Angus McDonald my good friend who works at the Mccallan distillery and he was franticly delirious. Angus could barely speak and he was bubbling over like cheap champagne in his excitement. His Highland brogue was thicker than normal and his voice a full octave higher than I had ever heard it before.
“Angus!, Amigo!, slow down man I can barely understand every third word, what the hell has happened are you and your family alright?” I asked. “Aye..were all fine…you must get on a plane as soon as possible and make your way to my house.” He replied. “ I can no say more over this phone suffice it to say a bloody miracle has happened and you must get here in person and NOW!” I said “Ok guy, I’m pulling up the airline schedules on my computer now and I can be there around 10 am day after tomorrow and I trust you implicitly are you sure you can’t tell me more on the phone or in an email?” “I wish I could but it would be dangerous to say more just trust me your trip will be worth it 1000 times over…trust me man trust me!” Angus said. “Ok partner I will see you soon, I gotta go pack and call work to take some time off.” I hung up the phone and was still reeling from this surprise call but now I was getting excited for Angus would never call and insist I fly to Scotland in Winter at once unless something really amazing was going on and when a friend asks for you to fly to their aid you do it….it’s the Celtic way, honor and all that and besides my curiosity was killing me so off I went to make my arrangements. I caught the 7PM flight out of Orlando which flew me directly into Edinburgh landing about 6:30 in the morning. After about an hour of finding baggage, getting some strong tea to wake up and walking the very long way to the car rental area I procured my rental car and was off for Angus’ home. Of course the Highlands are always beautiful and this time of year with lots of snow capped mountains making it all the more enjoyable. Traffic was light except for the skiers I saw heading for Ben Nevis near Fort William. It was cold in a way that is only found in Scotland. A winter wind that could cut you in half and a spit or two of snow every now and then forced me to manually turn the windshield wipers on and off just often enough to be aggravating. I finally saw the antique lantern decoration at the end of Angus’ driveway that was my clue as to where to turn off the main road. A short drive up the lane and I was standing outside the McDonald household’s door knocking away in the middle of their evergreen holiday wreath. The door swung open and Diana, Angus’ wife greeted me with a warm hug and a mug of hot tea. We exchanged pleasantries and I said hi to the kids who were playing a video game in the living room next to their roaring fireplace. Diana said “ye best be gettin down to the cellar, Angus has a great surprise for you and I am pretty sure you are gonna love it and I’m also sure Angus will explode if he has to wait much longer! “ She laughed which made her beautiful green eyes sparkle with mischief making her look like some fairy princess from a Tolkien book. “Ok, Ok I’m off to the cellar…wouldn’t want to be scraping Angus off the walls now would we! “ I joined in the laughter, tossed my bag in the corner, and dashed down the stairs. “Angus!” I shouted. “Thank God you have come! I am so glad you made it. “We shook hands and Angus motioned for me to sit in a large soft chair facing an old rug covering something in the center of the room. “Ere ye ready lad?” He said with that same twinkle in his eye that Diana had just a moment before. “I am ready amigo, I am very freaking confused but I am more than ready!”
“All right then…..here we go..!” Angus reached over and like a magician performing before a packed house he flung the rug off into the corner revealing his treasure.
Before us was the oldest looking whisky cask I had ever seen. It must be at least 50 years old I thought to myself. My heart was beginning to beat way too fast and I had trembling feelings like one has on their very first date. Yes I was excited! “What have you got here Angus!” Angus had a grin on his face that must have been close to a foot wide and had almost every tooth showing and it was easy to see that he too was very excited about whatever this was. “Well let me tell you how I came by this great treasure. As you know I have been in the employ of The Macallan for quite some time now and it is my task, among many others, to manage the warehouses where the whisky sleeps. We have many warehouses spread out around the area and one warehouse in particular has very old stone walls. Recently a forklift accidently smashed into the stone wall in warehouse number 11and of course it fell to me to get it fixed. I got some concrete and plaster and went in to fix the wall. As I was looking at the wall I thought I saw something behind that wall, something that looked very much like a cask of whisky! I took my hammer and tapped out a little larger hole large enough for me to get my head and my torch in so I could see what the hell was going on in there. Well it took me about an hour to knock out the hole big enough to actually get into the wall. It was a cask!! I rolled it out into the warehouse and started examining it and that is when I noticed the date on the end, the date when this cask was filled and stored in the warehouse. That date as you can see before you is 1909. This cask was filled one hundred years ago man! 100 years!!!” All I could say was “Oh my….God!!” Angus continued…”well I got it loaded into my truck and slipped out the side gate and here it is…..100 year old cask strength Macallan man….100 years old! Now I know it’s worth a fortune but it is worth much more to drink it than to sell it wouldn’t you agree? “ I nodded in agreement but had to then ask….” But aren’t you worried about your job being at risk over this Angus?” “Well frankly yes but then there are some things in this world that are worth a bit of risk and this treasure was sealed up 100 years ago and there seem to be no records that it ever existed and believe you me..I looked long and hard for anything in our archives that would point to this cask either ever existing or missing or any reference at all and there is no bleeding record anywhere!” Angus replied. It was then I notice the cask had been recently tapped and Angus was kneeling beside the cask filling two crystal classes with deep brown liquid.
He handed me a glass and said “Slanite!” “Cheers” I replied. I slowly brought the glass up to my lips and let the rich brown liquid pour into my mouth. I swear I could hear a heavenly choir of angels singing backed up by 1000 Highland Pipers as the ancient scotch reached by taste buds. “So…what do ya think?” said Angus smiling ear to ear. “ohhhhhhh..damn that puts all the scotch I have ever tasted to shame, its nectar of the gods, its manna from heaven, it’s…it’s….it’s wonderful!!!!!” I exclaimed. The angelic music and pipers were still ringing in my ears. There is no way to put into words how wonderful this scotch tasted. It was like I had been sick all my life and was finally well. It was so smooth you could pour a pint down your throat before you even knew your tongue was wet! We sat and just enjoyed the next few hours drinking way too much but it was cushioned a bit by the huge Scottish breakfast that Diana brought down to us exclaiming…”I thought you boys could use a bit of nourishment while you savor your treasure!” Angus poured her a glass and we all sat there in silence a long while savoring every delicious drop of this once in the lifetime treat. After a while I had to ask ….”Angus, I thought casks were only good about 50 years and they started to go bad after that time how can this cask even exist?” He said…. “Well all I can say is that it is a bloody miracle…a bloody miracle… you are right it should not be here, it should not have rolled into a wall and it should not have been sealed up and I should not have found it and the cask should have rotted long ago but here it is and here we are enjoying the treat of a lifetime.” “I can never thank you enough old friend, words are woefully inadequate for thanks for this glorious experience…thank you !” I said.
“Achhh you would do the same for me….you would do the same for me.”
I stayed a week with the McDonalds and we freely enjoyed the 100 year old treasure. At the end of the week Angus handed me a case of 12 hand filled bottles drawn from the miracle cask and we said our goodbyes and I was off to my home in Florida. I opened up a large safety deposit box at three different banks the next day after arriving home and put part of the treasure in each one least disaster or thievery deprive me of this irreplaceable booty. Of course I kept a couple of bottles at the house and even invited a couple of my good friends over to try it but would not reveal from whence it came even under intense questioning.
That concludes my fantasy and of course it never really happened……...did it?
Come over sometime and I will share with you my best.
The Wisky Warrior