You have cats that fashion themselves as whisky connoisseurs. Friends of mine. Friends of friends. They wear bow ties and cufflinks that match their socks. They never sit anywhere but at the bar counter with one leg planted firmly on the ground. To anchor them.
Whisky-heads. I’m seated with one of them now and he’s saying, “I don’t particularly fancy blends. [That’s blended whisky for all you poor wine-drinkers], because blends don’t have that distinct character that single-malts have.”
You can tell he’s a phony because he has used the word “character” to describe a drink. Now he brings his glass to his nose before sipping his whisky. Shortly, he will launch into this long, drunken debate about whether because a whisky is single malt naturally; it has to taste better than a blend. “It’s like saying just because a woman is from Brazil she is automatically more gorgeous than a woman from Haiti! [No offence to the Haitians who might be reading this],” I hiss, as the Glenmorangie slides down my throat like mercury on a glass.
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We are at Explorer Tavern bar in Kilimani, not Lavington, as some people might think. It’s a whisky bar as you might have guessed by now… Stocks hundreds of different types of single-malts and blended whiskies. The cats who come here are mature, average age of 40 years, which means they wouldn’t use the word “cat.” There is a large garden at the back with umbrellas. There is seating behind the building and cosy whisky branded lounges where groups of whisky loving women in glitzy dresses often crowd in, blowing decent money on decent whisky. The beauty of Explorer is that they have made whisky affordable.
Their pricing is extremely fair. Because they are always having a promotion, you will always almost buy a tot of the single-malt of that week at something ridiculous like Sh400! At some point we will step outside on the verandah where Mr. Bow-Tie-I-Don’t-Drink-Blended-Whisky will guillotine the head of a cigar and light it up. We will move to a different debate, maybe about cars, as we scan the parking lot for those massive guzzlers with grills that look angry.
The sky is now greyblue. Folk will stumble in through the entrance stopping briefly at the noticeboard at the entrance to see which whisky is on offer. Some driver – I won’t say what sex – will be doing a 560-degree point turn to reverse parking. We will chuckle, with my boy absentmindedly passing the burning cigar to me and me ignoring him, but not the rancid smell of cigar entirely, which will curl at the back of my throat as if settling in for the night.