I am not a Scotch fan. I usually relate it to burning away the flesh from the inside of my throat (is it “flesh” on the inside of your throat? I don’t think so… hmmm). But I am always willing to give something new a try, especially when it’s free.
Dewar’s was hosting a “Discovery” tasting and Mike and I quickly signed up to join Lori and her boyfriend, Kevin, on the journey. (Lori managed to blog about this in a MUCH more timely manner that I did)
It wasn’t overly efficient to get in. We got on line early and waited until about 10 minutes after they were supposed to start until they let us in… which meant getting into a giant elevator with the 30 people that were behind us. And what happens when you’re first into an elevator? Yup! Last out. And Lori and I were both in mildly uncomfortable shoes and I really had to pee! This was not starting off well…
Luckily, we were still able to snag some seats in the far corner to rest our feet during the initial meet and greet, that included a bar with 3 Dewar’s drinks and some passed around apps.
The 3 drinks on the menu were the Dewars 12 year Scotch on the rocks, Dewars & Ginger Ale, and the Smash, which was like a mojito. Mike went in for the kill and got in the rocks. I got the Smash (along with Kevin) and Lori went with the Scotch and Ginger. I actually was pleasantly suprised at how much I liked each of them. (Though on the rocks was still a bit much for me).
Our little table was nicely decorated with some Worldly things.
And the room and some nice multimedia screens set up, talking about Dewars heritage and how their White Label is the #1 sold Scotch in the US (WOW!)
The food was… unfortunate. Nothing was particularly good and we were on the other side of the room from the kitchen so by the time they made it even halfway to us, their trays were empty. (Luckily Mike and Lori jumped up to greet them at their door on a few occasions and brought us back the spoils)
We were let into the room a while later and I think we were all surprised to see a chemistry set all prepared at each seat. (The nerd in me SQUEALED in delight).
We also had some lovely glasses set up in front and behind our chemistry set.
We learned some gaelic and that a scotch whiskey, by law, has to contain (malt) barley, water, and is aged in wood. Meanwhile, my ADD kicked in and I noticed there was a secret at the bottom of my glass… so I took a picture of it. And now… I have no idea what it says. “The Glenc??? Glass”
The speaker went on to tell us about how Dewar’s came to be. I took some notes, but they are spotty. You will be able to tell that I zeroed in on the things that interested me most (such as a quote from Johnny, the founder: “If you don’t advertise, you fossilize!”)
And then… THE MIXING BEGAN! He had us take a whiff of each of the flavor options… Honey, Fruity, Floral, Vanilla, and Smoky.
Then we picked our favorite scent and mixed it into the scotch base. I, not surprisingly, chose vanilla.
We were then asked to add drops of the others until we liked the SMELL (not taste mind you… smell).
I got mine to a happy point and took a taste. Though not before a “slonga!” was passed around the table. (“Slonga” is short for “slongiva” which translates into “cheers” in Gaelic)
After we mixed our own, the waitresses all came out with another glass on trays so we could try the 18-year aged Scotch (which isn’t on the market yet). It was great! Nice and smooth… I could even drink it on the rocks.
Lori and Kevin enjoyed as well.
It was a blast and a VERY fun way to spend an evening. And I was pretty impressed at the presentation (besides the entry system and the food). It has made me into a SOMETiMES Scotch drinker… which is a vast improvement over the NEVER of before.
I hadn’t eaten anything for most of the day, however, so I left there feeling quite delicious and working hard to walk in a straight line. Good thing we were in a great foodie neighborhood (Meatpacking near the Chelsea Market). We tried to get into Colicchio and Sons, however, they had an odd “snag a chair at the bar” system that made me feel like a stalker… so we went to Cookshop and had a FABULOUS meal there. More on that Nom later!