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The adventures of The Flock - Thérèse-Marie Becker

Embers and Elegance:

A Belgian Midsummer Night's Toast

Thérèse-Marie Becker (@theresemariebecker)

“What can I serve you, Thérèse-Marie?” I could perceive my darling Alexander’s visage being tenderly kissed by the warm glow of the candlelight as he stood before the table, pondering over the next beverage to be chosen.

The table afore us was veritably laden with the remnants of the evening’s lavish feast, and the whisky decanters were found in close congress with the wine bottles. The empty champagne bottles of Virginie T. were strewn about, outside of their chilling buckets, embracing the hot and humid air of this delightful July evening, serving as silent witnesses to the joyful toasts earlier.

My glass had already been the vessel for several distinguished whiskies; the Talisker Storm emerged as one of the evening’s favourites, whilst the 15-year-old Dalwhinnie was received with considerable acclaim.

The hot coals in the fire pits cast a gentle glow against the dark blue veil of night, and the lounge chairs encircling them beckoned invitingly. It was time for a cigar. “What about an Ardbeg?” proposed Alexander. Rob had bestowed upon me that particular bottle of Ardbeg at the weekend's commencement. I had yet to acquaint myself with that specific blend, the Corryvreckan. “Certainly! Why not!” I acquiesced, and before I could even complete my assent, Alexander was presenting me with a neatly and generously served glass of Ardbeg.

Some of our guests retreated to their private tents for the evening, while the remainder of us adjourned to the fire pits, our chosen drinks in one hand, our cigars in the other. All was serene.

We commenced to cut our cigars and soon, cheerful flames danced before the faces of our guests, one after another, as we each ignited our preferred tobacco. I elected to sample a Romeo y Julieta. The Ardbeg in my glass brimmed with character, and I was too fatigued to embark on the Cohiba Siglo II I had initially envisaged for that moment. It is invariably ill-advised to squander a fine cigar…

Mellowness. Upon drawing the initial smoke, I was pleasantly astounded to discover that the mellowness of the Romeo y Julieta harmonised quite exquisitely with my libation. This cigar was markedly lighter than my usual selection, yet it offered a delightful surprise to the palate. Should you ever find yourself in Belgium during the summer months, you will be well aware that the evenings can assume a rather oppressive air. With the high humidity, elevated temperatures, and the ink-blue sky,

there’s almost a hint of the tropics, rendering it rather overwhelming to partake in a more robust smoke under such conditions. The earthy and leathery notes of the Romeo y Julieta, coupled with the spirited sweetness of the Ardbeg, crafted an intriguingly smooth smoking experience with a dash of adventure.

The elegantly rolled leaves slowly transformed into cylindrical ashes. The stars were now fully ensconced in the night sky, and the grass beneath began to chill. As the last embers in the fire pit continued their diligent vigil throughout the night, the bottoms of our glasses grew visible.

And just like that, in the tranquility of the night, we discreetly dispersed to our respective tents, allowing the night to reign supreme.

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