How Scotch Nerds April Fool One Another

Ransom Riggs

He gets us every year. That's Andy, the founder and fearless leader of the Los Angeles Scotch Club, who last year punked dozens of members with this last-minute meeting announcement:

Scotch Clubbers, Years of schmoozing may have finally paid off. Master Distiller John Campbell of Laphroaig, who a few of you may remember from his free tasting in Hollywood last year (he brought the 18), called me last night. We talked a long time last year and he was impressed with the club. Anyway, he was in town to do a private birthday tasting today for some rich guy (I assume)… who ended up in the hospital last night. Party cancelled. So, he has 7 bottles of LAPHROAIG 30, a prepaid location on Sunset Blvd, and doesn’t want to waste it tonight. It is free. They may have hors ‘d oeuvres too (not sure). Please email me for the location since he needs to know how many are coming (I think there is a limit too). Remember, it’s tonight, 7pm, April 1. Hope to see you tonight! Andy

We were understandably excited, as Laphroaig 30 is not only delicious, but goes for like $600/bottle, way above the drinking budget of most members. Alas, it was all a filthy lie. So you would think that this year we'd be onto Andy and his tricks, when this meeting announcement hit our inboxes on the first of April:

So the LASC has a chance for some more free whisky. It’s kind of last-minutey (sorry), but it’s virtually free and it’s single malt. We just had an awesome Japanese Whisky night, but I bet you didn’t know that there’s a new cottage industry for scotch-like whisky in the highlands of Mexico. Alex Mentiroso is the rep for three very small distilleries about 90 miles southeast of Mexico City. He’ll be pouring the following single malts: Tonto Deabril Bajolamesa Valle del Ivet Space is limited to 20 people, so reserve soon. I’ve set up Paypal for a token 50 cent fee just so that I can use it for reservations. We’ll be doing it at El Cholo. See reservation page for address and details.

As further proof, he attached an image of the first whisky on the list, Tonto Deabril. We were all looking at the bottle -- that nice wax-dip sealing the cork, the rich golden color of the spirit itself -- and thinking, sure, maybe there's a Mexican Scotch whisky industry. After all, we just did a tasting of Japanese whisky and another of Indian whisky -- the Japanese was better, but both were pretty good -- so it wasn't out of the realm of possibility. Of course, it was just a joke. The bottle to the left is illegal Mezcal with the name photoshopped -- Tonto Deabril means fool of April. As for the other Mexican scotch-style whiskies -- there are none -- "Bajolamesa" means "under the table" and, in a humiliating follow-up email sent April 2, Andy pointed out that "Valle del Ivet = Valle de Livet = Livet Valley = Glen Livet." And then we all felt very dumb. Which I guess is the point of April Fool's Day, even for Scotch nerds.