Bye Bye Benoit
Posted on 2008/07/22 17:09:07 (July 2008).
[Monday 14th July]
Today was the final, final leaving do for Benoit (see here for the "offical" one, and here for one prior to that) as this was the last day of his internship. I'm always worried about these sorts of things turning into a bit of an anti-climax, particularly as in the daytime nobody really organised anything (I guess because our manager was in transit, and that sort of job would normally fall to him). So I was determined to make up for that in the evening. Despite having been on a constant mission to introduce Benoit to some of London's finest old pubs over the time we've been working together, it turned out I had never actually taken him to my absolute favourites - Ye Old Mitre and the Cittie of Yorke. Neither had I taken him to the Whisky Society, just around the corner from there. So tonight seemed like exactly the right occasion for that.
We did have a quick drink at the bog standard pub nearest to the office first, which a few other people from the team also attended, but when it came to going a bit further afield it turned out most of the rest of them were just going to head home instead. So there were just the three of us that headed in the direction of Holborn - me, Benoit, and one other chap who I haven't really been out with in the evening much, but it turns out is quite keen on whisky.
So we started off at Ye Old Mitre, which I'm pleased to report has finally rid itself of all the scaffolding in the alleyway, and as a result was looking particularly lovely. It was also unusually quiet - partly because it was a Monday I assume - although when I asked the barman he (jokingly I think) put it down to the credit crunch.
After that we headed round the corner to the Cittie of Yorke, where I permitted Benoit to buy a round as it would be by far the cheapest of the evening! Here too it was looking fabulous as always, but we didn't linger too long, conccious of the fact that time was quickly going, and I was keen to get a decent chunk of time in at the Whisky Society.
It's always a pleasure taking guests along to "my club" particularly people with at least a passing interest in single malts. I had a gloriously self indulgent time boring my companions with the nuances of single cask whiskies, and we were treated to a particularly fine bottling list. We started off with a 27.68 (Springbank), then moved onto a 4.126 (Highland Park) and finished off with what was perhaps unsurprisingly my personal favourite of the evening - the 29.66 (Laphroaig). I had just been explaining to my guests that certain whiskies weren't actually that well suited to single cask bottlings - in my opinion. Most of the single cask Laproaigs or Highland Parks I'd had before were distinctly lacking something, and didn't have the depth and variety to be found in the distillery's own bottling, which are presumably vatted from several differing casks to produce the final character. Tonight though I was proved wrong - whilst the Highland Park was interesting but still not perhaps as rich and full flavoured as some of the better distillery bottlings, the Laphroaig really stood up in its' own right. It was wonderfully carbolic, robust, industrial - as I described it at the time, it was like sucking an exhaust pipe. Quite fabulous.
Anywho, I certainly had a very pleasant evening of it, and I hope it was a fitting send-off for Benoit too.
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