Monday, February 10, 2014

Spy Game (2001)

Rendering by RNZZZ
What is it about spy movies and drinking that goes hand-in-hand. Is it the allure of the pubs, bars and casinos as centers of information that causes spies on all sides to congregate? Is it the loud nature of pubs, bars and casinos that lends some discretion? Spy Game (2001) who stars Robert Redford and Brad Pitt is one such movie where this is true. There's not much specified drinking in the movie but when there is, its in a social environment like a bar.

The scene is set in West Germany in 1975. Makes you wonder how many people today remember that prior to 1991 there were two separate countries of Germany: East and West Germany. But I digress. Nathan Muir (Robert Redford) has just recruited Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) into the C.I.A. and they are discussing parts of Bishop's duties when Redford takes a sip of something that he clearly doesn't like. He says something to the bartender in German. The bartender shows Muir a bottle that causes Muir to nod in acceptance.

The following lines of dialogue follow between Muir and Bishop while the selected spirit is being poured for Muir:

Tom Bishop: I thought spies drank martinis.
Nathan Muir: Scotch, never less than twelve years old.
Tom Bishop: Is that right? Agency rules?
Nathan Muir: My rules.

Now we know what reference Bishop is bringing up with the martini comment (Paging Commander Bond). The scotch that is shown on screen is The Glenlivet 18 Year Old. Here is how the Glenlivet 18 is described on their website:
The rich palate of the 18 Year Old is the result of a combination of several different cask types. The Glenlivet Master Distiller Alan Winchester has a wealth of quality casks to choose from when creating this complex expression, with American and European Oak, first and second fill, all playing their parts. European Oak imparts spicy hints and brings additional complexity. First-fill American Oak adds tropical fruitiness.

Character: The balanced and elegant one

Colour: Old gold with apricot hues
Nose: Rich fruit aromas and toffee notes
Palate: Wonderfully balanced, with bursts of sweet oranges
Finish: Long, with spice and moist raisin notes
I have yet to have any of the Glenlivet 18 (only the 12 as of yet) so I've decided to refer to the fine people over at Master of Malt to get their impression of the Glenlivet 18. Here is what they have to say:
Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt
The nose is quite big and well-rounded. There are notes of chewy sultanas and sherried peels, barley sugars and toasty cereals with petals and apple blossom. A touch of fudge and gentle wisps of smoke. The palate is full and rich with notes of chewy, tannic oak. Manuka honey and walnut with Cox’s apples and orange peels. Cut herbs; fennel and spearmint. The finish is long and dry with a spicy oak note.
When I come across some Glenlivet 18-year old scotch, I'll let you know what I think of it. I'll just keep my eyes open for any spooks that might be around. ;)

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla