Espionage, immigration reform and whiskey
“Let’s go to the Trump hotel,” my friend suggested when we were deciding where to take our clients while we were in D.C.
I felt dirty just thinking about it. I’d be betraying my team. My team of Hispanics, that is. My work team is comprised of many Republicans. They would’ve not felt betrayed in the slightest.
But curiosity took the best of me and I assuaged my mind by telling myself I was researching the other team’s playbook.
When we got there, I was surprised at the diversity… of the staff.
The patrons were all white. The clientele was as white as Canada in its darkest winter. I also spotted two ten-gallon hats. That’s an impressive ten-gallon hat per capita for any room.
That’s not to say that brownies like me weren’t welcomed.
One of the four TVs at the bar was set to Univision.
I don’t even watch Univision.
I mean, talk about a welcoming atmosphere for Hispanic immigrants.
Even though I didn’t see it on the menu, I’m sure that I could’ve asked for a can of Goya’s black beans and gotten one.
The whiskey list was impressive and that’s always a plus when you are feeling dirty for compromising your principles.
There was MacCallan 25, which honestly is not as good as the 18, which they also had. They also had a great collection of Glenmorangie’s, including Signet, which is important for me because I like the Glenmorangie house more than I like the MacCallan.
There I said it.
Hit me with your fake and made-up whiskey terms trying to school me on color, weight, taste, and syrupiness, but my palate knows what it likes. And it likes Glenmorangie, especially Glenmorangie Lasanta.
While looking at the MacCallan section, my eyes kept rolling down the list more than I ever had before until my eyes stopped at the MacCallan 50 years.
I didn’t even know MacCallan had a 50-year bottle.
The price for an ounce of this baby boomer whiskey, you may wonder?
I’m glad you are wondering.
It was $10,000.
Probably enough to cover the year’s rent of many Americans.
After a few drinks of liquid courage, I asked our waiter, “Can I get a little taste of the MacCallan 50?”
I have to admit I debated making this joke.
I didn’t want my waiter mistakenly thinking I was actually asking for an ounce. And as afraid I was of dropping ten grand on a sip; I was more afraid of the possibility of having to tell my wife we would have to move from our townhouse in California’s wine country to live the rest of the year somewhere in rural Alabama so we could make ends meet.
The waiter understood what I said because he laughed it off and said he couldn’t do that. So I asked him if I could at least get a sniff of it.
I mean, you didn’t think I was just going to drop it like that. I’m in sales and I have said it in the past, salespeople are very much like Sam-I-Am from Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. You just don’t know when the person across from you is going to say a version, “Sam! If you let me be, I will try them. You will see.”
The waiter was a good sport; I’m sure he is used to dealing with obnoxious people. Let’s don’t forget: I was at a Trump establishment.
He later came back to explain the reason I couldn’t sniff it.
“We don’t sell that whiskey by the ounce even though it is listed that way. The whiskey is so rare we only sell the bottle. And tonight, someone already bought it.”
“How much does it cost?” I asked, curious about how much someone dropped on this bottle.
“For one bottle?!!!!”
“$160,000 for one bottle?!!!!”
You read that right.
That’s a house down payment.
It might even be enough to buy a house in certain areas of the country. And someone has enough of it to drop it on one bottle of brown liquor.
If you ask me, that’s some expensive pee right there. When you pee that whiskey, you might even have pee that would rival the quality of the 25 years. I would bottle the first pee after drinking it and funnel it back into the bottle and take a couple of uses out of it.
Later, the waiter came back with the bottles of the 30 and 40 years.
Here it was.
As a salesman, I knew that asking and asking and then asking some more is the secret to the trade, and it was going to pay in spades tonight. I was going to get a whiff or a sniff of either the Gen X or Gen Y whiskeys.
The waiter ceremoniously says, “$2,500 for the 30 and $3,500 for the 40.”
“For a sniff???!!!” I indignantly shouted at the waiter.
It broke the tension of the negotiation and we all laughed.
I didn’t have that kind of dough.
I have girls at home, and I need to start putting money into their college funds. So he would eventually take the bottles behind the bar without making the sale. He later came back to bring our bill for the night.
My colleagues and I played credit card roulette, trying to decide who was going to be responsible for this night. It landed on me.
The bill, which didn’t have all these expensive whiskeys, was still hard to swallow.
It rivaled my rent.
I put in the folio two credit cards, my vaccination proof (the physical card, which I hope holds better value than the PDF), and my hotel room card. I would have to explain to the waiter that one night in my room would make up for the gap on the bill but that I would need my room back after a night.
I left with very little understanding of how Trump does what he does. But at least, now I know MacCallan a whiskey aged 50 years and, what is even more surprising, some people can afford it.
I also made Trump a little bit richer.
If he wins in 2024, it is all my fault.