“You wouldn’t even know the difference if you had to wear a hairshirt,” said my mother when she saw the liberties I’d taken in describing her childhood Catholicism. “Your moustache isn’t even scratchy. In fact, I can’t even see it.”
It’s true, the moustache hasn’t gained much traction on this already furry face. I thought, if I just put my mind to it, I’d have this epic Fu Manchu growth going on by late November, but nothing doing. So I’ll have to donate money to the cause instead. Or give my dad a prostate exam.
None of my fellow inebriates will be surprised to learn, however, that my parents keep the LBHQ enterprise on a very lean budget. When I told them I wanted to make charitable donations, purchase seasonal greeting cards, and buy a crate of gin, they told me I’d have to use the “corporate card.”
Turns out the corporate card is a beat-up, unusable piece of plastic, maxed out and ripe for denial. Who knew my parents could be so mean?
It reminds me of the time they almost finished the INNIS & GUNN WINTER TREACLE PORTER. They were almost at the dregs, people, when it dawned on them that the resident reviewer was not there. (I was looking for Glen, polar bear and vodka expert, who’s been missing, along with the camera charger, since we moved to the new LBHQ.) There was only one bottle of this clear, mahogany elixir; they’d split it between them, the gluttons, and their portions were down to fumes—vanilla-caramel-malt fumes with gentle oak and molasses. A Scottish ale I would have given my moustache for, damn it.
When I appeared, they actually looked guilty and let me have the remainders. Forgetting about Glen and the camera charger (and Movember, a worthy charitable cause for those of you with deeper pockets, or any pockets for that matter), I slurped it up.
At 7.9% alcohol, INNIS & GUNN WINTER TREACLE PORTER is perfect for getting ripped on a cold day. A stunning marriage of lightly toasted malt, sticky toffee, well-behaved hops whose fruitiness is a mere hint, crisp carbonation, medium body, and a lingering, peaty finish, this porter is less porter than ale, but what sort of bear would quibble? This shit is divine. For the sake of the tremendous layering of flavors alone, it’s worth grabbing while it’s available—which it won’t be after winter.
Fortunately, the bottle came in a specialty pack that included two other varieties and an INNIS & GUNN beer glass. How could my dad possibly buy just one? A week later he returned to the store and bought another so he and my mum could drink from identical glasses. I can only assume he’ll take a third trip next week on behalf of yours truly…
Or perhaps he’ll tell me to go and buy my beer glass with the corporate card. This isn’t over, Dad.