So delving in the garage as you do, deep within a tea case that hadn't been emptied or examined for the last 7 years or so, under a pile of Crimson-style detritus, there was the distinct shape that has brought an uplift to the heart of Reenactors and Live Roleplayers alike... The "Square Bottle" !! The Infamous "Square Bottle". The content, elixir, nay ambrosia which goes by the name of Moniack!!!
Rumour tells of the days when the Moniack bottle was octagonal in shape. Personally I cannot claim to be a drinker of Mead in those days. It was before my "moment of revelation", my "road to Damascus" that changed the future of my life and the entire retirement plan, my "day of Catharsis" - yes Stuart Russell Keen - I mean you !!! A few words from you about your strange "hobby" and my life was changed as dramatically as taking a red pill from Morpheus..... Or is it the Blue Pill ??? To be honest I cannot these days be sure which is the reality and which is the fantasy - but I am certain it was not a Green One.
But after the halcyon and possibly fictional story of the Octagonal bottle, I can attest to the existence of the "Square Bottle".
Sadly a few years ago, inexplicably, the square bottle suddenly changed to a round bottle. Many of us thought we could detect a minor change in the flavour - but not having the opportunity to do a side by side test we were able to accept the "official" line that the recipe had not changed, only the shape of the bottle.
And so, one of my (totally fictional) stories of the original founder of Moniack, living high in Moniack Castle in Scotland, in the days of yore and prior to the start of the Mead business, who drank Gin in large and copious quantities. Who drank so much that he had many and large quantities of square Gin bottles, and decided that it was easier to hide them in the North tower of the Castle - down the back stairs where no-one ever went... Many years later - after his demise, the family started a Mead Suply business, and opening the North Tower spiral staircase, found a ready stock of square bottles, meaning that they would not have to buy fresh bottle stock for a long long time.... Instead they steralised the old gin bottles and filled them with their fine new mead and sealed the cork bottle tops with wax....
Such was the stock, that for many years the sea of square bottles allowed the distribution of the the now world famous mead, and the shape of the bottle allowed leather workers and costumiers across the reenactment and live role play systems to create pouches and knapsacks especially to fit the "Square Bottle"
And so for years - the existence of a square bottle was thought to be lost to all mankind. Occasionally, a rumour of a bottle sold in Germany, or hidden in the cupboard of a maiden aunt would excite the afficianados of mead... There were rumours that the unreleased film of "Indiana Jones and the Square Bottle of Mead" had been suppressed by joint action of the CIA, MI6 and a consortium of Scottish Whisky suppliers. I think this may be true but that could just be my natural paranoia.
And then. Deep among the boxes of a garage at 41!! Deep within a tea chest hidden through generations (allowing for a little poetic license) ... like Cthulu rising from the deep... there came..
One hidden and in disguise...... one with the full trappings of rank and insignia.....
And so... with the forthcoming tramp across the Pennines by Kel, Paul & Leino, supported by the Bothy as base camp and Susie as Support Driver, Head Cook and Bottle Washer starting next week, it seemed only fair to auction this last labelled bottle upon the Interthing, with proceeds going to the Walk 4 Cieran
Let the bidding start........