'Sampling Spirits' by Catherine Connolly

“Young,” Matt states decisively, passing the unmarked bottle to his left. 

Sam sniffs.  “Too imprecise a classification, I’d say.”

“Right though, aren’t I?”

“Sweet yet spicy,” Sam counters, setting his glass down.  “Do we have another?”

“Try this one.  Dex brought it with.”  A suit clad male lounging lazily at the far side of the table raises a mostly empty glass as they glance across.

“Do we know where he got it?”

“Do you care?”

“I guess not.  Hope he was careful though.  If word of The Distillery gets out…”

“Then what?”

“Nothing, I guess…”  Matt places a large black glass into Sam’s left hand and a smaller version into his right. 

Sam raises an eyebrow.  “Guess Dex doesn’t want his source traced.  Pretty precautionary.”

“We’re in it together.  Besides, you said it.  Where’s the evidence once we’ve drunk it all?”

Sam’s eyes flash once, locking in, then away.  “Swirl,” he says, though the colour of the glass prevents it.

“Sniff,” Matt responds.

“Sip.”  Sam raises the liquid to his lips, sampling.

“Savour,” Matt says.

“Complex,” Sam concludes.  “A beauty, I’d say.  Make sure she doesn’t go to waste.”  He passes the larger glass to the other man.  “You’ll appreciate this one – or, rather, you’d better.  Dex is becoming a connoisseur in the sensory perception selection process, sly dog.  Love to know where he found this one.  Might even ask him if I have the bottle.”  Sam’s mouth quirks slightly at the quip.

“Any more for any more?” Sam asks, when Matt does not respond in kind.  The debris and detritus of their evening is in front of them; numerous empty glasses and bottles they have drunk their way through already, mere dregs at the bottom, scarcely enough to fill a quarter of a glass.

“Just this, I think.” Matt gestures to a wide bottomed flask.

“Vintage?” Sam queries, as Matt swigs a sip, before grimacing.

“Vinegar,” he says, wincing.

They look towards Jem to their far left, accusing.  “Perfectly captured,” he responds, saluting them with his own glass.  “Pretty sour when we were together.  Had to get rid of her somehow.  Feel free to stick her down the sink.” 

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