I have to be honest. I’d never heard of the TV show Quarry before I walked through the bookcase at the rear of Soho whisky institution Milroys, and entered the Vault where Milroys MD, Simo, educated me (and several others) on five delicious whiskies, only one of which came from Scotland.
HBO, who screen Quarry, launched the DVD and Blu-ray on 14 February and arranged a special whisky tasting to mark the event. Simo gave us a brief history of Milroys, where I used to shop back in the early 1990s (showing my age) before taking us through each of the whiskies he’d selected for us, based on the show, more on them in a moment.
For those unfamiliar with the show, Quarry is set in and around Memphis during the early 1970s, and centres on Mac Conway, a Marine who returns home from a second tour of duty in Vietnam.
With his relationship with his wife growing tenuous, Mac finds himself tempted by a lucrative offer from The Broker, a shady criminal involved in a network of killing and corruption that spans the length of the Mississippi River.
After a series of events, Mac – whom The Broker code names “Quarry” – finds himself conscripted against his better judgement into The Broker’s crew. As you’d expect, this is unlikely to bode well for Mac and those closest to him.
Now, back to those whiskies!
We started with a port cask finished Kavalan, from Taiwan; it was the closes to place to Vietnam that made proper whisky Simo explained. In fact it is made to the same standards as whisky made in Scotland, which is useful to those whisky snobs who turn their noses up to the cracking stuff coming out of places like Taiwan and Japan.
Next up was a Blanton’s single barrel bourbon. Each bottle is hand numbered and tells you where in the warehouse the barrel was stored. The distillery is situated next to a racetrack, hence the horse and rider on each bottle; there are a few to collect to start drinking!
We deviated from the show’s premise and returned to Scotland by way of a Glenfiddich, more to tie in the differences, and similarities, between the non-Scottish water of life. From there we were straight into a cask strength, single barrel bourbon rye from the European Bourbon Rye Association before finishing the evening with a more than delicious sour mash from Michter’s.
For me, it hard to choose between the Kavalan and the Michter’s as my favourite of the night. Bank balance allowing I may have to buy a bottle of each and work on it.
Quarry: The Complete First Season is available on Blu-ray and DVD and contains almost 3 hours worth of bonus features including interviews, deleted scenes together with featurettes that explore Mac’s past and the Vietnam era.