We’ll start at where it should seem impossible to paint a picture in words: a feeling of blended scotch poured on the tongue as if on a heated rock. This goes on to filling the mouth with an air of a chocolaty tinge just as the whiskey-drenched tongue completes the taste as it presses against the palette in an attempt to swallow. Of course, it doesn’t end there; you have to observe as it drains down your throat in surprising easiness. And then it is done.

Now, if you, like me, are among those who drink to get drunk, you’ll find yourself in a similar predicament of ‘What the hell are you talking about?’ when the instructor of a scotch appreciation course describes the above feeling to you. Then again, you would be surprised at the suggestive capacity of words when you see a woman at the table vigorously nodding in agreement.  She proceeds to say, “You know, it seems…” at this point she pauses, holds her glass up to her nose, takes a deep whiff of the scotch, “It seems ki…” she pauses again for a dramatic I’m-really-thinking-about-this-moment , “I’m getting a roasty kind of a feeling.” “That’s right,” retorts the instructor, as an obvious matter of fact, “it should feel a little roasty and a little peaty.” This goes on for a while, until, quite evidently if I may, you yourself are lead to believe, “Maybe this does taste a little bit peaty,” given of course, “Whatever in god’s name is peaty?”

We were a part of a Black Dog Easy Evenings session at Habanero, a beautiful Mexican restaurant, with a high wall behind the bartender which was stacked to the roof with booze. The event was organized by Ginger Claps, a blogger community which is now spreading its influence across the country. A glass wall lined the rear and the evening light complemented the scotch in ways only a drunk man would understand. We weren’t drunk really, not enough in the belly I suppose, but I’ve heard coarse alcoholics, at the very first sip, enter a state of perpetual high.

I’ll assure you that this story has a beginning, a body and an end, but not necessarily in that order. I can only hope to describe to you the remnants of a picture held in retrospect, of a faded and quickly fading memory. I remember seeing old oak casks, as the instructor began to narrate; I remember a map of Scotland and on it these casks were placed. I remember then a prairie field and walking to empty casks and by their sides were laden barrels. There they were left to wait. The instructor then spoke of the master blender who blends malt with grain whiskies till he finds the perfect blend.

The instructor, as I remember him, looked midway through his forties or perhaps late thirties, was of average height, balding and bore a mild stoutness that is characteristic of the age. He represented a company called Tulleeho, which I believe means ‘get drunk’! He possessed a convincing vocabulary which described in detail that tingly feeling on your palette, a kind of man who takes the indiscretion of your taste and makes its acquaintance with the nuances of scotch. Or maybe it’s the indiscretion of thought and its transition into the made believe. Your call.

The instructor, as I remember him, looked midway through his forties or perhaps late thirties, was of average height, balding and bore a mild stoutness that is characteristic of the age. He represented a company called Tulleeho, which I believe means ‘get drunk’! He possessed a convincing vocabulary which described in detail that tingly feeling on your palette, a kind of man who takes the indiscretion of your taste and makes its acquaintance with the nuances of scotch. Or maybe it’s the indiscretion of thought and its transition into the made believe. Your call.

Liquor brands like Black Dog  have severe restrictions on advertising. The government of India is of the belief that alcohol is not a problem in itself, rather creating a market for it is. I’m sorry, I should clarify. Markets, as created for our average ‘consumer product’ have a virtuous, life enhancing appeal on our average advertisement. Our average advertisement will capitalize on your relationships and claim that your contribution toward the producer’s profit represents your love for whomever it is that you love. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that and I’ll little deny that there is some truth to it, but I’m just trying to make a point here and it’s that alcohol can’t afford that sort of a reputation. Yet the revenue generated is too high, the lobby too strong, and the demand ceaselessly overwhelming. Its existence however, is a supposed private affair, like a mistress of a seemingly staggering quality.

Need breeds alternatives. Which is why you’ll find ‘OKtober Fests’, IPL franchises, music CDs and club soda with say a Seagram’s label. The public relations’ offices at such companies will also pull off smaller gimmicks of the tune of, and as in this case a scotch appreciation course for bloggers (you’d be surprised at how much of a difference that makes). For this they’ll need a company that offers such a service, for example Tulleeho, a venue, maybe a restaurant, and more importantly, bloggers. You see, Black Dog, the sponsor of this particular event, isn’t going to go out and do it themselves. This is where Ginger Claps comes in. They stand at the crossroads between all of these people and organize the event. This one especially, was one that I had a good time at.

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A video of the event can be seen here.