It is now September, and the
harvesting of summer barley has begun.
In the golden barley fields,
villagers’ families are working hard together to harvest the barley.
When I heard the word
“barley,” there was something I wanted to do.
Yes, I wanted to make whiskey.
Most of the summer barley in
this village is barley, and they only make the necessary amount of oats for
And barring special
circumstances, such as a poor wheat harvest, a fair amount of barley would be
converted into ale.
The brewery is located on the
west side of “West Hill” along the Finn River, where they brew wine
As a lover of alcohol, I had
There is no distilled liquor
in this world. At least not around here.
I asked Bertram, the dwarf,
and he said he didn’t know of any distilled spirits. If the dwarves, who have a
keen eye for alcohol, don’t know about it, then it must not exist anywhere.
If so, he wanted to make
whiskey or brandy as a specialty of this village. To be precise, Scotch-type
malt whisky and malt-type distilled spirits made from wine pomace are the
However, I don’t have much
hope for Marc because I don’t know how much of the wine pomace will be used. [T/N:
Marc is a distilled spirit from wine pomace. Wine pomace is the pulp by-product
of wine production. This is according to Wiki-sensei.]
I used to drink a lot of
scotch and Marc in my previous life.
For more than 15 years, I
frequented a bar in a port town in the Kansai region called “MM,”
which specialized in scotch, and I also bought some marle from a pretty good
distillery. Personally, I prefer distilled wine fines, Cognac and Armagnac are
typical examples, but because of the price, I drank Marc.
And, importantly, spirits do
better when they are laid down. Not everything gets better, but still, it would
take too long to make it when I was old enough to drink.
If I succeeded when I turned
five, by the time I turned seventeen, I would have a twelve-year-old product.
And before I turn 30, I will have made a twenty-two- or three-year-old one, the
one that I personally like the best.
The barrels at Craig’s place,
a woodworker, were made of oak, or oak barrels. And the important construction
of the barrels, as far as I could tell, was sufficient to withstand long-term
To make it a specialty
product, they would have to serve it young, about three years old, but as long
as I had enough to drink, there would be no problem.
The problem was the distiller,
but the logic was simple and the blacksmith Bertram’s skills were reliable
enough. Above all, he should be the best to come on board. If I asked him to
make a tool that would make the strongest and most delicious liquor in the
world, he would do it without a second thought.
As long as we can make the
tools, the rest can be done by us, and it won’t affect our other work.
Even if we increase the number
of pumps in the future, two small ones will be enough for the first few years.
Fortunately, we are on track
to install the pumps, and the only thing left to do now is to take care of the
farm equipment during the off-season and the village patrol’s weapons.
I’m hoping to build a distiller
this winter and get some distilled spirits into the ground.
To tell the truth, other than
the pump, the toilet and soap are not doing so well that I am tempted to do
The toilet has managed to turn
into something that looks like humus by mixing it with livestock products, but
I won’t know if it will be useful until next year or not. If this fails, there
is also the option of liquid fertilizer, but I am not confident that this will
As for the installation plan,
my father said that it would depend on the results in the area where Gordon is,
so we won’t be able to move on to the next step until next summer.
As for the soap, I don’t think
it will be done at all at this point. The first batch I made in June did not
harden even after three months, so I decided it was a failure and burned it.
The second batch, made in
July, is still in Nicholas’ house as a dubious, sludgy object.
The third batch made in August
turned slightly white, and although it has potential, I honestly don’t hold out
much hope for it.
The raw materials are cheap, I
hear that tallow itself is not much favored and is cheap, so I can manage to
keep going, but if it becomes a burden on Nicholas, I am willing to give up
On the other hand, Nicholas
and Kate are exceptionally eager to fight, and it’s true that I can’t tell them
to stop. They have already written more than a hundred memos and have
accumulated a lot of data, such as the proportions of every ingredient.
I’m more concerned these days
about whether my memory is wrong and I’m making them do unnecessary things.
I have given them various
instructions, such as adding other ingredients, changing the ingredients of the
lye, and adding another process, but if this does not succeed, I think it is
inevitable that they will have to give up.
This is a digression, but in
this village, the price of ale made in large quantities is low. In fact, most
houses have a keg of ale in the house, as it is distributed according to the number
of raw materials delivered.
When I first saw it, I
wondered if there were only drunkards in this village, but I was told that in
this plague-stricken village, people drink ale as drinking water from the age
of ten or so.
September 20th. I went to
He was sharpening a patrol
member’s sword, so I sat down beside him and we started talking about
By that time, our relationship
had become more like that of colleagues or comrades, and the way we spoke had
changed from honorific to casual.
“I want to make a tool to
make delicious alcohol…” (Zack)
When I had said that much, his
hands stopped sharpening his sword. He then pressed me, “Tell me more.”
I chuckled at his predictable
reaction but went on to explain about the distiller.
“You know that liquor has
a strength that we usually can’t control. There’s a way to make that alcohol
His response seemed to be a clear
understanding of alcohol, and he immediately urged me to talk more about it.
“Water and alcohol boil
at different temperatures. We use that difference to extract only the alcohol.
Here’s the tool…” (Zack)
I took out the drawing I had
brought with me and spread it out in front of him.
He says, “What is it? It
looks like a kettle that’s defective,” he said, staring at the drawing
with a stench.
“You put the liquor in
this part. Then, when the kettle is heated from below, it will gradually boil
over, so the temperature must be adjusted so that only the spirit evaporates.
Since only the alcohol will evaporate from this elongated mouth. Only the
alcohol will be taken.” (Zack)
“I don’t know what it is,
but what does the alcohol taste like when it has been made stronger? I feel that
boiled ale is not tasty.” (Bertram)
That question turned my ”
drinker’s switch” on.
“How should I put it? If
it’s just a strong spirit, it will burn your tongue with its sharp taste. After
that… the original flavors don’t linger on your tongue and a unique aroma
passes through your nose. Then there’s a burning sensation in the throat and a burn
in your stomach.” (Zack)
Bertram listened to my
explanation with a serious look on his face.
“Your description doesn’t
sound very tasty at all.” (Bertram)
I grin there, “Of course
“This alcohol is only as
good as the barrel it’s kept in. The best I’ve ever had was thirty-five years
old. Fruits, nuts, herbs… and a variety of other aromas and flavors are
intertwined intricately… but all of them are mellow and not overpowering. One
sip and the aroma lasts forever. It’s not an exaggeration, but the aroma
lingered with me until the next day. It’s not so much a drink but a work of
He muttered, “Thirty-five
years,” and left it at that. I didn’t care.
“For casual drinking, it
should be at least three years. My preference is twelve years or more, by the
I then add a more detailed
description of the aroma.
“The first thing that
comes from letting it rest is the woody aroma of the barrels. But that alone is
not enough to balance it out. As it ages further, it develops a sweet fruit
aroma, a fresh herbaceous aroma, a floral aroma, and a pungent spice aroma. It is
a mystery why such aromas are coming from a wooden cask. But the aroma is not
that strong. As it ages the flavor mellows out…” (Zack)
He gulps occasionally as he
listens intently to my explanation.
“A young liquor only
burns the tongue, but a mature spirit changes its taste in at least three phases.
The first is the moment you drink, then when it lingers on your tongue, and the
final moment is when it goes down your throat. It tells a different story at
each of these moments… If you drink it on its own, you don’t need anything
else. If you drink it with water, it pairs well with food, but I preferred to
just enjoy the drink on its own…” (ZAck)
I think I had a faraway look
in my eyes then. And in my mouth, the unique, peachy, mellow fruitiness and
vanilla flavors of BenRiach, a single cask distilled in 1976 …and the sweet,
mellow aroma of the now-defunct Roland’s Ladyburn Twenty-Three Year Old.
From the other end of the
room, it must have been a surreal sight. A four-year-old in a trance,
remembering the aroma of scotch.
But Bertram was different.
“I’m going to build that ‘distiller’
now! Come see me every day! I’ll finish it in ten days!”
His eyes were aflame.
It seems that my words made him
want to have a drink.
(As expected, he’s really a dwarf.
He’s a true drinker like their stereotype. I feel a little scared of this passion,
and if the distiller fails… maybe I might have ignited his passion a little
too much…) (Zack)
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