Category Archives: Tastings


Whisky Pairing Dinner in San Francisco

An interesting an unique whisky pairing here in San Francisco that we caught wind of.  It sounds like a tasty (both whisky and food wise) event.  I am not sure if I am going to make it but I am going to try.  – Chris

Thirsty Bear
Tuesday, Oct 16, 6:00pm
661 Howard St., San Francisco
$65 All inclusive

RSVP and pay


The ThirstyBear presents a contemporary and seasonal approach to traditional Spanish tapas. Utilizing local organic and seasonal products as much as possible and working with local farms causes frequent changes in the menu at ThirstyBear. Well known as a great place for beer, it is also a convenient place to enjoy a dram.

Chef Laurance Gorden has put together a delectable six course menu to pair with our exquisite whiskies for the evening.

The Whiskies:

Reception Cocktail

Isle of Skye 12yr
Arran 10yr
Arran 14yr
Arran Finish Sauternes
Arran Finish Amarone
Kilchoman Machir Bay
Miltonduff 22 yr Cask Strength 55.1%

The Menu:

Smoked oyster, celery root

Arugula, fennel, and cranberry salad

Red trout, peppers and garlic

House made Butifarra sausage, white beans, mustard greens

Selection of three cheeses, mixed nuts, spent grain bread

Dark chocolate espresso mousse

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The Fall 2012 Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza

It is that time of the year again for our larger whisky tasting events.  I have attended the SMWSA’s Whisky Extravaganzas for the past couple of years.

Please see the SMWSA’s formal invitation:

Ladies and Gentlemen are cordially invited to enjoy a connoisseur’s evening featuring rare & exceptional single malt, Scotch and unique whiskies from around the world. The evening includes a delicious dinner buffet as well as a selection of premium imported cigars for our guests’ later enjoyment. The Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza brings the discerning enthusiast the opportunity to sample the participating whiskies in a sophisticated and elegant environment with genuine camaraderie and knowledgeable representatives from each participating distillery.

All events from 7:00pm-9:00pm. Registration begins at 7:00pm. Business casual, Jackets preferred. No denim or athletic attire.


Chicago:  October 18, 2012, The Union League Club of Chicago, 65 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604

Washington, DC: October 30, 2012, JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20004

Philadelphia:  November 1, 2012, The Union League Club of Philadelphia, 140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Los Angeles:  November 9, 2012, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401

San Francisco:  November 14, 2012, The Intercontinental San Francisco, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Seattle:  November 16, 2012, The Rainier Club, 820 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104

Fort Lauderdale:  December 6, 2012, The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

Ticket Prices:  Members tickets to the Extravaganza are $135.00 each and non-member guest tickets are $150.00 each.  Readers of the WhiskyWall will receive the members’ price at $135.00 each, when you use the promotional code: “WW2012”.

You can purchase tickets directly on the web here or you can call (800) 990-1991.

 * I am planning on attending the San Francisco event, thanks to the SMWSA.  Hope to see some of you there! – Chris

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Glenrothes Night

Another one of San Francisco’s whisky seasons has come, drunk, and conquered. With events ranging from time-well-spent to a-mediocre-night, I have been remiss in not commenting on a tasting that was decidedly pleasing. Some weeks back, the opportunity to attend a Glenrothes promotional event found me willing and able. The event played out in a private room of Nihon (a local whisky bar of note featuring Japanese fare). The powers that be did more than a few things right to make this event a cut above. Firstly, it was small. This was not a meet-and-greet party for gregarious inebriates sponsored by Glenrothes. While such events can be delightful, it is not always the best circumstances under which to get personal with a whisky. That Glenrothes held the event at Nihon also spoke to the caliber of the event. To revel in a little whisky promotion in the confines of a smaller, cushy chamber of wood and dimmed lighting plays to the strength of whisky sampling and related conversation. The garish lighting of warehouse-events is great for illuminating a huge space and helping you recognize people from across the room, but give me the intimate confines of a little faux candle-lit space with comfy seating (and the knowledge that there is a huge and varied selection of quality liquor downstairs) and I am more than satisfied. Glenrothes’ representative, one Mr. Ronnie Cox, it must be said, sealed the deal. A well-spoken man who is spoken well of, Mr. Cox proved a good host and a superior orator on Glenrothes’ behalf. Prior to the tasting I enjoyed the opportunity to share a beer and a few words with him concerning Glenrothes and whisky in general, as well as some incidental conversation. A seasoned veteran of much alcohol appreciation and promotion, I’m of the opinion that not only has Glenrothes provided Mr. Cox with a respectable product to laud, he has brought to Glenrothes his wide-ranging experience wrapped in a refreshingly mellifluous take on the English language.

And so, to bastardize the Bard (Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Prologue), we lay our scene. Glenrothes straddles a rare whisky ridge, it is well-known but not famous (or infamous, for that matter). You will not find it at a convenience store (don’t get me wrong, many good things are) and you might not even find it at your local bar. You will, however, find it at many a drinking establishment and any liquor store serious about good whisky. Its has a distinctively rotund bottle that steps outside the typical mold, and its had it since before fooling around with bottle shape was cool. A signature look. This coupled with their school report card-inspired label makes for a curious combination of a whisky that is distinct but not in your face… which accurately describes the whiskies themselves (if I can give the whiskies personhood). The age statement on the bottle is a rare and curiously refreshing approach to whisky bottling (one they have been doing for quite a while). They do not release a twelve or eighteen year that is regularly supplemented with like reproductions. Glenrothes places the year of distillation on the label and when that version is gone it is gone. No repeats, just an evolution of what they are aging and outputting. These are Speyside whiskies. These are whiskies that represent the Speyside palate well. These whiskies do not rely upon esoteric barrel agings or experimental approaches. I am crazy about bizarre and eclectic approaches to whisky aging, my taste buds can not get enough of it, be it an Islay finished in a Zinfandel barrel or a lowland in a Bordeaux (or an Ichiro in a port pipe!). But if one looses appreciation for the art, the time-proven work of crafting a traditional Scottish whisky, one is lost.

Glenrothes delivered. Tasting notes? If I had not enjoyed the evening as much as I did, I would probably have better notes to impart, but then if I had not enjoyed it so much I probably would not be writing this. Do your own homework. Try the line-up and you are like to find something more than agreeable.  And if you get a chance to try the Editor’s Cask, consider yourself lucky. Cheers to Glenrothes and all those involved for putting on a whisky tasting that stood out not only for its whisky, but for the places and persons involved. –Nate

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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Whisky Extravaganza

There are tastings-a-plenty to be had through out the year that offer an array of different experiences. The whisky that is being poured is obviously what most people are interested when they debate whether or not to go to a whisky tasting. But to be honest that is not the only thing that one should consider. You can only drink (and actually taste) so many whiskies in one evening.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has been putting its Whisky Extravaganza for years. Fortunately I am not old enough to have attended them all, but I have been to the my fair share. Last year’s Extravaganza was a good time with plenty of good whisky and great conversation. This year was no different as I was able to have great conversations with the whisky industry folks as well as with other whisky enthusiasts, including Pete our buddy from The Casks. One of the attractions that the SMWS likes to promote is the whisky panel where the audience has the opportunity to ask the different brand ambassadors questions. However I think it is more of an opportunity for the ambassadors to talk amongst themselves and take comedic jabs at each other. The questions were fairly straight forward but luckily for us the responses were not. There was a great combination of humor mixed in with very useful and interesting information about whisky and how it is produced. Any attempt by us to provide a commentator-like summary of the entertaining responses would not do them justice. You just have to be there to experience it for yourself.

After the whisky panel was over, which was about an hour and a half, we headed over to the main tasting ballroom. The Extravaganza is not the sensory overload event that WhiskyFest can be. Don’t get me wrong, I love WhiskyFest, but just for different reasons. The tables manned by the various whisky companies and distilleries surrounded the empty tables for the attendees in the center of the ballroom.

There was a solid showing of expressions to be tried. But my first order of business was to hit the event organizer’s booth: the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. I always look forward to trying their unique single cask expressions. The casks that they choose are usually excellent and there are many that are from lesser known distilleries. They brought 6 bottles out this year: 50.42 (Bladnoch), 125.48 (Glenmorangie), 73.40 (we were told Glenburgie but when I double checked the bottle code online it shows Aultmore), 27.90 (Springbank), and 127.9 (Port Charlotte). As is my normal operating procedure at whisky tastings I did not take tasting notes of the whiskies that I tried. I find that it really detracts from the enjoyment of the evening for me. I did enjoy the Springbank and the Port Charlotte. This Port Charlotte was significantly different from their earlier bottling that was aged in a first fill sherry cask. It was really interesting to see and taste the difference between the two.

There was also definitely a buzz around the Suntory table as they were pouring their new – to the US – release Hakushu. Another highlight of the evening was the classic malts’ 34 year old blend which was an amazingly complex and full flavored whisky – again proving that blends are not necessarily of a lower quality. It was also good to see distillery bottlings of Auchroisk 20, Ardmore 30 as well as the Johnnie Walker Double Black (another very solid blend). Another treat – although not publicized – was a small sample of the Balvenie’s soon to be released Tun 1401 Batch No.3. This is a vatting of casks from several different casks spanning over multiple decades. Nicholas Pollacchi, who helped to make this whisky was kind enough to share this with us. A fabulous whisky that should be arriving in the US soon.

I do have to say that I was disappointed that the selections from Old Pulteney and An Cnoc were not there despite being in the event’s program. I am assuming that the same program might be used at all of the Whisky Extravaganza events. But I was looking forward to enjoying a tipple or two from each of these distilleries. Overall it was another superb event held by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society that provided a broad array of great whisky, tasty food and excellent conversation and information. If you are interested in not only the whisky but also a great atmosphere, experience and relaxed conversation then this is the event for you. Thank you to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for the invite and I look forward to future Extravaganzas.

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The Balvenie Road Show

Is there a better way to start a week than with a whisky tasting?  I didn’t wake up on Monday morning with the usual sense of despair that the work week was just getting started.  My Monday salvation came in the form of the Balvenie Road Show that was held at the Epic Roasthouse on the Embarcadero.  The Balvenie, if you are not familiar with it, is located in Dufftown and is fiercely proud of the fact that it is one of the few remaining family owned distilleries.  The Balvenie also takes pride and promotes that its whiskies are meticulously handcrafted and not the product of a large corporate machine.  And this leads us to their current campaign the Balvenie Road Show.

The Road Show is a celebration of those that stay true to traditional crafts and apply their passion, skill and attention to detail in what they create.  The Balvenie Ambassadors Andrew Weir and Nicholas Pollacchi are traveling the country with a handcrafted Morgan to visit these craftsman.

The weather cooperated on Monday to make the Epic Roasthouse a picturesque location for the San Francisco stop of the Road Show.  An initial tasting was held on the outside patio with a fabulous view of the bay and the towering Bay Bridge in the background.  Upon arriving we were graciously offered a blood and sand cocktail – a concoction that I found a little to sweet for my tastes.  I was left wondering why it has become somewhat customary to open whisky tastings up with cocktails.  To show the diversity of their whisky? To appeal to a greater audience? Or am I just being an elitist in thinking that single malt whisky should only be enjoyed neat or with a couple of drops of water?

After some mingling, Nicholas started his introduction to the Balvenie and its whiskies.  Staying in line with theme of the Road Show and celebrating handcrafted products Nicholas explained that the Balvenie is unique in that they have their own barley, floor maltings, coppersmith as well as their own cooperage all on site.  The Balvenie also has one the most experienced malt masters, David Stewart tending to their casks and creating the whisky.

After some additional background information on the Balvenie the tasting portion of the evening started with the Balvenie 15 year – a single barrel expression.  Single barrel means that the whisky in these bottles only comes from one specific barrel and is not a vatting (mixing) of different barrels that most distillery bottlings normally are.  As a result the flavor can vary some from bottle to bottle when they are from different barrels.  The 15 year has the distinctive honey profile that is associated with the Balvenie plus a little extra kick from a slightly elevated ABV.

Next we were poured a taste of the 14 year Caribbean Cask which, as the name suggests was finished in Caribbean rum casks.  The rum casks add another layer of sweetness to the mix but without being cloying.  We then moved on to the 21 year Port Cask expression with its dichotomy of soft yet ever present port sweetness that delights the palate.  Last we were poured the 17 year Peated Cask.  This is an interesting expression that was partially aged in casks that once held peated Balvenie – as far as I know the peated Balvenie has never been bottled and was only used to season the casks.  The peat is not overpowering and integrates well here.  Many Speyside/Highland malts that attempt to do a peated expression, are not successful in my opinion.  The peat often tastes like an after thought, thrown on the top of an already finished product and there is no harmony.  I am happy to say that the Peated Cask is a rare success.   And that ended the initial outdoor tasting and the second level indoor tasting was just starting.

The past Balvenie tastings that I attended were fairly intimate with about 15 people.  Monday’s upstairs tasting was far from intimate.  I was surprised to see the number of people that were there enjoying all of the same Balvenie expressions that were poured earlier.  Food was being served, but it was a little sparse.  As each server entered the room with any type of food they were immediately swarmed and soon only crumbs or left over sauce was left on the serving tray.  The vibe was a good one though and everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves.  It was good to see such a large and diverse group of people interested in the Balvenie and their whiskies.  – Chris

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Whisky Tasting – Japanese Malts

April 21st marked the third Thursday of the month and that meant it was whisky tasting time again! In March we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with some Irish malts. In April we decided to go in another direction with some Japanese malts. There wasn’t any particular reason for why we went with Japanese whiskies other than we didn’t have the self-control to leave these whiskies’ flavors a mystery to us. The whiskies we decided to pour were available here in the US only via check in baggage. Nate brought these bottles back in February and we couldn’t wait any longer to open them.

We were lucky to have a good turn out of enthusiastic whisky folks to enjoy the whisky with. We decided to start off the evening by doing a quick comparison between Japanese whisky and Scotch whisky: a Singleton of Glendullan 12 and Yamazaki 12.  It wasn’t the most scientific and there were probably better whiskies to use to compare, but hell it was what we had available to us.

After that we moved into the more serious whisky.  We started with the Suntory Hibiki 50.5.  Hibiki is a blended whisky – a mix of malt and grain – and as the name indicates it is bottled at 50.5% ABV.  The Hibiki 12 is probably familiar to those in the US but this particular Hibiki was aged for 17 years.  After the Hibiki we dove into the first single malt of the evening, a single cask Hakushu, distilled in 1996 and bottled in 2008 at 62%ABV.  Hakushu is Suntory’s other distillery located in Yamanashi Prefecture.  The last expression of the evening was one of Ichiro Akuto’s Card Series:  3 of Hearts.  The Card Series bottlings are whiskies that were originally distilled in the now closed Hanyu distillery.  This particular expression was first aged in a Hogshead and finished in a port pipe and ultimately bottled at 61.2%ABV.  It was a great whisky to finish on!

…or at least we thought.  For those that stuck around and got really comfortable in their seats, an additional two Japanese whiskies made their appearances.  White Oak/Eigashima is one of Japan’s lesser known distilleries.  The majority of their distilling efforts are spent on shochu and sake, but they do release a couple of expressions.  We decided to try their Akashi 5 and 12 year old whiskies.  Definitely different, bordering on funky was my impressions.  Of course this was after a couple of hours on sipping on the three previously mentioned whiskies.

Overall it appeared that everyone had a good time (which is the most important thing) and enjoyed some different whiskies.  We will post up more detailed tasting impressions of the whiskies shortly.  Till next tasting! – Chris      


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Nirvino Tasting at the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts

A stroke of good fortune led to my invitation by DG Blackburn to check out a Nirvino Urban Wine Tasting at the Boothby Center for Beverage Arts.  The event started at 6:00 PM, and that was a good thing because I was still relatively dry and ambulatory.  And I am glad I was because the event was decidedly pleasing.

The event boasted a respectable turnout without getting crowded (a preferred balance).  One standout beverage was Mashup by Periscope Cellars.  A multifaceted blend, the wine stood out as a rare example of a fundamentally complex yet delicate creation.  Brilliantly, it was served on tap, getting the wine at the right age, right from the barrel, and right into your glass without any interloping bottles.  I hope more wine makers figure out that this is a great way to get quality wine to the public when one doesn’t intend on laying the wine up for half a decade.  Kudos, Periscope.  Another good showing came from Fortuna Winery.  Their sparkling wins (one dry, one almond enhanced) and a pomegranate wine surprised me.  My initial reservations were quickly dispelled when these offerings proved to be lush and original.  The Extra Dry was respectable and while satisfying the traditional needs of a champagne-seeking palate brought a new freshness to the flavors.  The Almond, and I am not particularly crazy about almonds, managed to add a tasty layer in nose and body without side-tracking the well-focused champagne experience.  The pomegranate wine was expressive of the fruit without getting bogged down in the sweetness that often comes with such attempts.  Yummy.  And the Extra Dry with a dash of the pomegranate wine made for an aesthetically pleasing champagne cocktail sans the bitters.

I hope Nirvino keeps up the good work.  And I look forward to spending more time at the Boothby Center.  As the name states, this space is dedicated to the beverage arts, be it educational seminars, tastings, or some new concoction.  It is a space for drinking and I look forward to spending a lot more time there.  DG’s build-out bodes well for future events.  Between the hand-crafted bar-top and the spirit safe (seriously, it’s an actual bank vault from near-on a century ago set into the wall with what looks like a functioning lock) a broad swath of windows makes for a solid spot to imbibe. –Nate

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Whiskies of the World Expo

As always, full disclosure:  Both Whiskies of the World and ImpEx Beverages were gracious enough to provide us with tickets for this event.  Many thanks!  Since both of us attended we each gave our own impressions of the event.

Although I don’t like to bring up the past, I think doing so in this context is a useful exercise.  Last year’s Whiskies of the World (WoW) Expo was to be honest, a disappointment.  It was the first WoW event for the new owners and unfortunately it showed.  The biggest issue for me was the lack of space and crowds.  The venue, the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco, simply wasn’t large enough for the number of people.  However, over the course of the last year I was happy to hear about the owners’ commitment to learn from the mistakes made and to make the 2011 expo a great whisk(e)y event.

So I went into this year’s WoW with a cautious optimism that things were going to be better.  This year saw WoW return to familiar territory, the San Francisco Belle Hornblower Yacht.  I arrived with several of my friends at 4:45pm as the VIP ticket holders were going to be allowed in at 5:00pm.  There was no confusion in the line and we moved smoothly onto the yacht.  After boarding and picking up some of the free swag and tasting glass I headed out to find my predetermined targeted drams that I wanted to make sure that I tried.  The first floor was where the food was being served and the second and third floors is where all of the whiskies were being served.  The fourth floor was the deck of the yacht were you could enjoy a cigar and the fresh air.  There were also several master classes available to attend to learn even more about some of the whiskies.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to any of them this time.

As I have mentioned before in my coverage of large whisky events, I go for the experience.  I want to enjoy myself and not to have to worry about keeping track of each and every whisky I tired, let a lone take detailed tasting notes.  This event didn’t have a largest or greatest selection of whiskies, but the pours available were still quite plentiful and impressive.  With that being said, some of the new to me highlight whiskies that I tried:

Douglas 27 Year Port Ellen:  Dead-on-Port Ellen flavors. It was a treat to be able to taste some Port Ellen again after a long, mostly financial based, hiatus.  Nice to see a new line from the independent bottler Douglas Liang who also put out Old Malt Cask.

Douglas Fettercairn 9:  The first time I tried a Fettercairn – a bit of an odd fellow with some green vegetation notes.  Not what I would label a great whisky, more of an interesting, off the beaten path whisky.

Glenglassaugh:  I tried the 26 year old and it was a well rounded experience.  What was really interesting though was their new make spirit though.  Getting the opportunity to try what comes off of the still before it is aged in a cask is a great experience.

Chieftan’s Single Cask 15 Year Old Mortlach:  This yummy sherried whisky was graciously bottled at cask strength.  The nose was beautiful and the palate didn’t disappoint.  A strong candidate for my next splurge bottle of whisky.

Chieftan’s 1982 Teanninich:  Again, bottled at cask strength.  I have had a couple Teanninich expressions before, but the wonderful basket of fruits on the nose and the pallet really made this an enjoyable dram.


High West Silver Whiskey:  A clear whiskey that is made from oats.  I actually really enjoyed this whiskey and I didn’t think I was going to.  It is great when I am surprised like that.  The only thing was I felt like I was missing some raisins for my liquid oatmeal cookie.

St. George: our local distillery had a wide variety of expressions available to try.  From gins to their own single malt whiskey.  They also had, what I would say was the oddest tipple of the evening, a spirit that was derived from a wort composed of Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale and IPA.  It left me with an impression of an amped up hopped barley wine.  Limited batches of this are supposed to be available later this year.

I am happy to say that there was plenty of room on the yacht and it was easy to access the booths for a pour.  This provided ample opportunity to chat with the brand representatives as well as with some of the creators of the whiskies.  I was able to have several good and informative chats during the evening.  Good job WoW you redeemed yourself from last year and WoW 2011 was a success.  I was able to take my time and try several amazing whiskies, speak with some very knowledgeable folks, and share the experience with some great friends.  As always, the whisky you drink is only as good as the company you are sharing it with.  – Chris


I spend a decent portion of last Saturday on a boat drinking whisky.  Not a bad gig, all things considered.  As long as I didn’t look out the window I was seldom reminded of the fact I was not on dry land.  There was the occasional lurch, but that could have been the liquor kicking in.  I had planned on getting in and out early but only succeeded partially.  While I arrived early, was admitted early, and got down to tasting early, I ended up lingering for a respectable three hours.

I enjoyed more the a few good whiskies and conversations while avoiding more than a few questionable options.  It was at a point early in the evening when tasting Glenglassaugh’s elder offering that I noticed a set of smaller, attractively squat bottles.  These, it turned out, contained Glenglassaugh’s  Clearac, Blushes,Fledgling and Peated.  These are the underage expressions of Glenglassaugh’s fundamental spirit.  Being a fan of experimentally young spirits, this was a treat.  I am an inveterate imbiber of Ichiro’s New Born, Double Matured, and Heavily Peated, all of which never made it to the age of three.  Having recently enjoyed a little of Yamazaki’s new make, it delighted me to get at some fresh expressions from Scotland.  The Clearac, essentially Glenglassaugh without the pesky barrel maturing process, was appropriately colorless, with a bright nutty aspect and a clean, pear-sugar note.  Good, clean fun.  The Peated built upon this with a decent but not overly dramatic layer of its eponymously accurate name.  The Fledgling has a short pit stop in ex-Bourbon casks.  Unfortunately for me, my memory appears to have taken a brief pit stop as well when I tried this – as Mr. Reagan would say, “I don’t recall.”  The Blushes is what I enjoyed the most.  New spirit aged for a fleeting six months in red wine casks, this was an experiment that worked.  The smooth, simple spirit took on a slightly lush character borrowing some of the redder tinges of the wine cask along with a respectable touch of wine-sourced berry notes.  I hope other distilleries attempt this end run around the traditional concept of Scotch.  It could make for more exciting possibilities in the whisky-but-not-scotch category.

That aside, it was a great night for adding to the glass collection (yes, I have a thing for glasses as well as bottles).  In the glass swag-away category thanks go out to Crown Royal (useful tumbler), Maker’s Mark (sweet little patented-wax-dribble shot glass), and of course, the 2011 Whiskies of the World taster’s glass (pleasant stem affair).  Not a bad trip for a boat that didn’t actually go anywhere.  And yes, I did end up drinking a Maitai at some later point in the evening. – Nate


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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Whiskey

The regularly scheduled third Thursday of the month tasting landed us on St. Patrick’s Day last week.  In an effort to woo potential attendees away from the green beer and Guinness we planned for an Irish whiskey tasting.  This was our first foray into Irish whiskey at one of our tasting events.  To be honest, I really didn’t have much experience with the triple distilled spirit originating from Ireland so it was going to be a learning experience for me as well.

Additionally, as you might know from my previous posts we were collecting donations for the relief efforts in Japan.  100% of all the proceeds were donated to the Red Cross for Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami relief.  We had 28 attendees that came to enjoy the whiskey, food and company of other whiskey drinkers.  They also were very generous with their donations.  Additionally, several people that could not come to the event were kind enough to make donations.  If you want to make a donation to the Red Cross for the relief efforts in Japan you can make it here.

This was a fairly informal event so that everyone could enjoy the whiskey at their own pace, chat with others as well as go back for re-fills!  We did go in order for the first go around.  We started with a standard Bushmills 10 to give us a baseline.  Then we moved into the Redbreast 12 – I had read a lot of good things about this expression so it was a must for the lineup.  The third expression was a little bit of an old ball, Michael Collins 10 year old single malt lightly peated.  Last, staying true to our roots of more rarefied expressions we dove into an AD Rattray 11 year old Cooley.  We will be giving our impressions of each of the whiskies in a separate post.

It appeared that a good time was had by all and judging by what minimal whiskey was left over we all thoroughly enjoyed the whiskey as well.

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Whiskey Tasting for March

Yes, I added an “e” to whiskey as we are moving away from Scotch and Japanese whisky and moving into Irish whiskey this month.   It is St. Patrick’s day after all and I have to celebrate my Irish heritage…

This month’s tasting falls on the 17th.  Since the tastings are every third Thursday of the month we have been planning this for awhile.  However, we decided to change things up a little.  While we will still be enjoying spirits from Ireland, there will be no charge.  We only ask that you consider making a donation towards the Japanese relief efforts.  100% of all proceeds will be donated.  We are still in the process of narrowing down which organization the donations will be made to, however we are leaning towards the Red Cross.  If you are interested in attending please email: chris [at] whiskywall dot com for details.  We need to make sure we have enough whiskey for everyone.

*Special thanks to David Driscoll at K&L Wines for the support with the whiskey.  Also, many thanks to Spire Restaurant and Bar for hosting the location*

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