CHICAGO IN A GLASS

Delilah's
Bet you can’t guess what bar this is from…

Normally, we here at MojoFiction celebrate everything it means to be a guy in today’s “it’s a war on women” world, including (but not limited to), power tools, fatherhood, sports, being a good father while losing to your son at sports, and wondering aloud why the line is so long as Starbuck’s when all we want is a venti mocha frappuccino. Today, however, we are taking a detour from our usual fare to celebrate a little piece of the great city of Chicago: Prohibition. …Hold on, that’s not right. What’s the opposite of prohibition? Imbibing? Okay, look, the point is that we’re celebrating Chicago and drinking whisky. Sorry for the confusion, that’s kind of a guy thing.

Anyway, if you’ve seen the movie The Untouchables, then you know that Prohibition only took place in Chicago, while the rest of the country enjoyed fine Canadian spirits with absolutely no repercussions. So it’s fitting that we came across a whisky recently that’s all about Chicago and generally available only around here (sorry to gloat but … no, we’re not sorry). However, there are a couple of parts to this story.

PART ONE: THE WHISKY

There is a fairly well-known hang-out in Chicago called Delilah’s. It’s considered a “Punk Rock Bar,” but over its twenty years Delilah’s has also become known as a whisky bar, mostly because of the hundreds of bottles they have available (though, admittedly, on Sunday they are a Buffalo Bills bar). Keeping anything open in Chicago for twenty years is kind of a big deal, so the owner decided to celebrate. In a seriously guy-move, the owner got together with a scotch whisky maker called Compass Box and put together a special bottling they simply called Delilah’s. It’s like a bourbon, but definitely a scotch (if you are a guy you will understand). It’s something you pour over the rocks or, to echo the whisky-maker’s sentiments, shoot and chase with a beer.

We’re always interested in Chicago-centric events, so when Delilah’s whisky was released locally earlier this year we went out to Binny’s and grabbed a bottle. After realizing we had to pay for it, we put it back, but then we came back and bought it because it turns out no one else was going to buy it for us. Interestingly enough, later these cheapskates would help us drink it. Yeah … that’s kind of a guy thing, too.

Of course, once you have acquired an interesting bottle of whisky, the immediate question is, what are you going to do with it? There’s only one answer: drink it with friends (unless it’s Ardbeg, then you save that one for yourself).

PART TWO: THE OCCASION

At MojoFiction’s place of employment in downtown Chicago, several of us sometimes celebrate the end of the week by gathering in someone’s office and drinking a beer or sampling a new whisky that one of us has brought in. It’s one of those work-bonding things, and also the boss was out, but it’s something that we all enjoy. (Okay, the sad truth is, there are not many women at our company and that makes us cry a little bit, but we’re not in charge of hiring.) If you’ve never sat in on a whisky tasting with a bunch of guys, you might be confused at first. Here’s a sample conversation:

WHAT WAS SAID:

Guy #1: (Burp)

Guy #2: Hmmm.

Guy #1: Yup.

WHAT THEY MEANT:

Guy #1: Good scotch.

Guy #2: I acknowledge your contribution to the conversation, but I cannot rate that burp higher than a 3.

Guy #1: Yeah, it was lacking in reverb, but pleasant nonetheless. Don’t forget, football at Tilted Kilt on Sunday. And the Broncos are going to get beat.

Guy #2: In your dreams.

But once you get past the coded conversations, what you have is a group of friends sitting around and talking about the world at large over a bottle of whisky. One guy (whom we’ll call Guy #3) was on his way out of the office when we flagged him down and showed him the bottle of Delilah’s. An hour and half later he was still sitting in our office with four of our other co-workers, enjoying another glass. Throughout that time, the word had spread and people from other departments dropped in for a taste and to talk for a few minutes. By the time we decided to call it a day we’d pretty much seen everyone in the office and they’d pretty much all tried a dram of whisky. There wasn’t much left in the bottle at that point, so we gave the remainder to Guy #4 and told him to share it with his friends over the weekend. We knew they would respect him for having bottle of Delilah’s in his cabinet. It is, after all, a little piece of Chicago.

And now it’s gone.

Unless you go to Delilah’s, of course. We’re sure they’re stocked.

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