Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3.23.2010 - Whiskey Tasting

Yes! This was great! Somehow I convinced some friends to come with me to a whiskey tasting at one of the local casinos, Cher-ae Heights. The tasting itself was put on by Myrtlewood Liquors and John's Fine Cigars and featured a "Whiskey Master" (one of, apparently, only 17 in the world) who is pretty much a liquor distributing company representative who- through that distributing company- represents the drinks giant Diageo, which, in turn, owns brands like Johnnie Walker, Bushmills, Oban, Dalwhinnie and Lagavulin, among many others. Nontheless, he seemed very nonpartisan about which whiskeys to drink; he thought they were all good. He was definitely a good speaker and was knowledgeable; he provided some clever anecdotes and witticisms and guided us through some of the whiskey making and tasting processes. The tasting also included a five course meal that consisted of grilled shrimp with risotto, Brie en croute with microgreens, crispy duck springrolls, roasted lamb chops with coffee and chocolate, and bread pudding with a whiskey caramel sauce. The food was good, but relatively uninspired and was scant and sparse. Notably my favorites were the Brie and bread pudding.

Below is the list of the whiskey we were able to taste. Surprises included serving chilled Johnnie Walker Gold at 28 degrees- it was great and delicious, mellowed the flavors and smoothed out the feel- and how much the bourbon stood out from the others. I came overly enthusiastic about tasting the Johnnie Walker Blue and left largely the same way about how great it was, but intrigued me further were the Oban, Dalwhinnie, and Talisker Distiller's Editions. They were all complex, but different and drinkable.

Johnnie Walker Blue
Johnnie Walker Gold 18 Year
Dalwhinnie 15 Year
Dalwhinnie Distiller's Edition
Oban 14 Year
Oban Distiller's Edition
Bushmill's 16 Year
Glenkinchie 12 Year
Talisker 10 Year
Talisker Distiller's Edition
Bulleit Bourbon
Crown Royal Cask 16

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