How I stumbled into a bar, found Diamondback, and ended up in...

How I stumbled into a bar, found Diamondback, and ended up in a movie.


A week or so ago I mentioned Diamondback Whiskey. Here’s how I discovered its existence.

My wife – God rest her soul – used to say I’m the kind of guy stuff just happens to. She was right. I am that kind of guy. And that’s why I stumbled into a bar recently, discovered a new whiskey, and ended up in a goddam movie.

This all happened in Grapevine, Texas. I walked through the doors of this bar, in a foul mood, as per usual. Bar was full of people moving around and making a lot of noise. Irritating as hell. I don’t like attention so I kind of crept along a side wall and slid onto a stool at the end of the bar. Three or four fellas were next to me, staring straight ahead and not talking.

My kind of guys.

No bartender in sight. I got to looking around and there was this weird shrine next to me. Real voodoo-like. Skulls, beads, candles, that kind of thing. Sitting next to it was a bottle of whiskey I’d never heard of before. “Diamondback.” The label said, “Peat from Scotland, venom From Texas.”

From a bar in Grapevine, Texas.

I nudged the guy next to me and said, “Hey friend, what’s this whiskey here? I’ve never heard of it.”

He looked at me kind of funny. “I don’t know man. They don’t tell us anything. We’re just supposed to sit here.”

That was a strange response. I took a closer look at the bottle. The bottom of the label said, “Because we like a whiskey that doesn’t go down without a fight.” I snapped a picture of the bottle with my phone. About that time the bartender showed up. He put a glass of amber liquid in front of me.

“Hey man, I didn’t order this.”

He laughed and walked away.

“I’m not fuckin’ paying for a whiskey I didn’t order,” I mumbled to no one in particular. I took a sip and couldn’t believe what I was tasting. It was tea. Room temperature tea.

“What the fuck is this?” I said, probably louder than I should.

That’s when the weird shit started happening.

Some guy wearing a beret whirled around, started to say something to me, then stopped. He stared at me. I stared back. My hand moved up to my patch like a gunslinger putting his hand on his pistol.

“Gish, who the fuck is the guy at the end of the bar?”

Apparently there’s some unfortunate soul goes by the name of Gish in this god-forsaken establishment.

A guy’s head popped up from behind the bar. He looked at me.

“I don’t know, Matt. He’s not one of the extras.”

Matt pulled some headphones off and stormed toward me, looking mad as hell. I lifted my patch and gave him a look at the fleshy eye-socket beneath it. That shut him right the fuck up. Always does.

“Jeezus,” he said, and took a step back. I let go of my patch and it dropped back into place. He looked me up and down for a few seconds.

“Gish, come here. Look at this guy.”

Gish walked over and stood next to him. He was holding a clipboard. “Did you just walk in here. Just, you know, like a customer? You were just coming to the bar for a drink?”

“Yeah,” I said. “What’s this all about?”

They laughed. “Dude, we’re shooting a movie.”

I took a closer look around. All that commotion I saw when I came in was the cameras, sound booms, crew, and all that movie shit.

“Aw, fuck me,” I said. I started to get up.

Matt held up his hand. “Hang on. Gish, this guy is perfect. Hey buddy, you want to make a quick thirty bucks?”

“Hell yeah.”

“Just sit right there. When I say action, you sip your whiskey. Kind of lean forward though. I want to get your eye in the scene. Tony, when he leans in, give me focus on that eye, okay?”

We went through seven or eight takes. I drank two glasses of tea. Then it was over. A lady came over and started counting out thirty dollars in cash.

“I’ll make a deal with you. You can keep the thirty bucks if you’ll tell me what you know about that Diamondback whiskey.”

“Oh, that’s just a stage prop. It’s not real.”

“Are you fucking kidding me? Did you read the label? That shit sounds amazing. Dammit! I really wanted to try it.”

I looked wistfully back at the bottle.

“So what’s the name of this movie? When will it be in theaters?”

“Oh, it’s not going to be in theaters. It’s a short film. You know, for film festivals. It’s called Tertium Quid.”

“So it’s a fake whiskey AND a fake movie?”

She laughed. “No, it’s a real film. Listen, the guy who wrote the screenplay is over there. Bald guy with glasses and a Big Lebowski t-shirt. Talk to him. I think one of the sponsors is thinking about bringing Diamondback into production.”

I’ll spare you the boring details of my conversation with screenplay McGee. Guy must be smart, writing for the movies and all that, but he had the personality of a bag of hammers. He did give some details on the whiskey, though. It started as just a movie prop, but apparently some of the crew are whiskey drinkers and they started messing around blending Scotch with high proof bourbons. And just like that, Diamondback was born.

Currently they have 200ml flasks filled with the blend they are using for pre-production experimentation. You can’t buy them. Someone has to give you one. I don’t have one yet. There weren’t any on the set. Word is this whiskey will go into production sometime in the near future.

I’m working every connection I have to snag one of those flasks so I can taste it. I’ll let you know if I find one.

Oh, and one other thing. If you ever see a film in some fancy festival or on Netflix or something called Tertium Quid, see if you can spot me. I’m the one-eyed guy down at the end of the bar.