As the sun went down, darkness descended. It was a cloudy night with the moon peeping out once every few seconds. We were sitting on the balcony of a rest-house in a small mountain hamlet. Down below we could hear a river making its way through jutting rocks and another dark peak rose menacingly just a couple of hundred feet away and beyond the chasm with the river below. It was a night just perfect for the investigative instinct in a person to start fantasising.

‘Look, even the bushes seem like spies stalking each other,’ said a friend. We were three friends out there somewhere in the Shivalik ranges, spending a weekend away from the cares of the world.

I said, ‘You’ve been reading too many jasoosi novels lately.’

The third friend who was quietly sipping his Black Dog TGR just said, ‘The peaks are dark and hide their real size and business, don’t they?’

It was then that our discussion swerved and went on to sizes… and from sized to the way the size of commodities has reduced. ‘A different size obviously means a different form of packing. And packaging has a direct link to the user group linked to that product,’ I said. We were slowly inching back to our professional topics and we knew this was the inevitable turn that any discussion generally took.

The discussion had a definite finality in it… it bounced from soaps, oils, groceries, and other products and then stood hovering over the beverage that we were having.

A friend said, ‘Can anyone tell me why Black Dog TGR, a premium whisky, is also available in so many different sizes? The market has 1 ltr, 750ml, 375ml, 180ml and 60ml bottles available.’

’60 ml too?’ I asked, ‘Come on, that’s not even one Patiala peg?’

We then talked about pegs and one of us rattled out his intimate knowledge of pegs, ‘30 ml is a small peg though some believe that the standard peg is 45 ml. A shot is 50 ml and is also called a large peg. A Patiala peg is 90 ml.’

The other friend added, ‘A Patiala peg has an interesting story about its measure. It is said that a rough and ready measure is the amount needed to fill a glass equal to the height between the index and little fingers when they are held parallel to one-another. And that is the real Patiala peg. Not anything as prosaic as 90 ml.’

This piece of information was new for us… but by this time the original discussion about the logic behind different sizes was lost somewhere between the cool mountain breeze and the delicate blend of the beverage in our hands… and we decided that this topic would be discussed some other evening. The rest of that dark and intriguing evening was spent in savouring the flavour of a whisky that is considered as one of the most loved ones.

‘But what about that discussion on sizes?’ insisted a friend.

I said, ‘The case of exploding sizes will be taken up tomorrow evening. Now if you can make us all another Patiala peg please?’

a case of exploding sizes


Black Dog Easy Evenings | Black Dog Scotch | Ginger Claps

Disclaimer: The content of this post is meant only for people above the age of 25.


Arvind Passey
09 May 2014