November 28, 2012 § 3 Comments
First – please tweet and re-tweet this. It’s extremely important!
As many of you know, my beloved New York City & the surrounding areas were recently hit very badly with Hurricane Sandy. Personally, we were without power, heat & cell towers for 5 days. Business came to a screeching halt and I’ve been trying to re-coup ever since. My 101yr old grandmother’s beach cottage on the NJ Shore was completely destroyed. What’s left of the roof is being held up almost entirely by one single 2×4. The bed pushed through the structure and is sitting partially on the street, the couch is in whatever is left in her tiny kitchen. The home will have to be leveled and there were very few mementos that were salvageable. It may sound “fancy” to say that this was our family’s modest vacation home but anyone who owns property knows the kind of investment that is and the kind of sacrifices you do to make that happen. The little money my Grandparents saved during their years working as a school teacher (her) and an insurance sales man (him) they invested in this humble property with the intention of passing it down through the generations. Like my father, I spent my childhood summers there with my sisters and cousins and it’s a place our family retired to every chance we had.
Our home BEFORE the storm:
Our home AFTER Hurricane Sandy
But as sad and as hard as the recovery will be for my family – we didn’t even get hit with the worst of it. There are many people who lost their permanent homes or who couldn’t return to their homes for weeks due to flooding and unsafe conditions. These people were living in the shelters set up in the NYC public schools. The conditions were terrible – it was not like a ‘forced camping vacation’ by any stretch of the imagination. Many more people were stranded for weeks inside their apartments – especially the elderly and disabled – who couldn’t climb the 5, 12, 15 or more flights of stairs to get in or out of their apartments. They were stranded with no running water, no way to flush their toilets, no heat or food.
There are many recovery efforts underway but you all know how this typically goes … it’s hard for the money to get to the people who really need it.
Not this time! The whisky community of NYC has rallied together with the amazing leadership of Robin Robinson, the wonderful brand ambassador of Compass Box to unselfishly put together a benefit: a combination 2hr whisky tasting and auction to raise money for the incredible Tunnel2Towers organization.
Here’s the info on the tasting portion of the evening
Here’s the info on the INCREDIBLE list of whiskies available at the auction
Just LOOK at that list!!!!! There are some bottles that will be available for auction that are rarely, if ever, available anywhere else in the world. People have dug down deep into their private collections to donate some truly remarkable whiskies.
We need to continue to rally. This is going down THIS SUNDAY
4-6pm @ Astor Wines & Spirits
399 Lafayette St. , (at E 4th), NY, NY 10003
I’ll be there pouring Brenne! It’s only $25 to enter and enjoy what will be an incredible 2 hour tasting & auction event. Come one, come all! Support the rebuilding of the greater New York area!
Please share this with anyone you may think might be interested in attending. (And seriously, when else can you attend a whisky tasting event in NYC like this one for only $25?!?)
With love and many thanks,
December 5, 2011 § 13 Comments
I have been attending so many whisky events recently that it got me thinking: what would make these even better?
Answer: To be surrounded with my close friends.
So this holiday season, I offer you this: The Whisky Woman’s Guide to Creating Your Own Whisky Tasting Party . It’s time to stop fretting and start celebrating!
WHAT YOU NEED:
Tulip Shaped Glasses (to help focus your nose to the delicate aromas, check out Glencarin, -found HERE at Amazon)
Room temperature spring water (if you want to kick it up a notch, buy a dropper or 2 for easier control of the water-adding situation – found HERE at Amazon)
Unsalted Crackers (to cleanse your palate between spirits – also found HERE at Amazon)
Coffee beans (not necessary but I find very helpful when smelling lots of different whiskies during one sitting)
Opaque Container (for spitting and/or dumping – in a pinch, I use mugs – found HERE at Amazon)
Friends (this party can be done by yourself, but it’s WAAAAY more fun to dive into your whisky exploration with your pals around! – easily found HERE at Facebook) 😉
NEED TO KNOW:
For the novice, familiarize yourself with the different types of whisky. “Whisky” or “Whiskey” is the main category under which you have Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Single Malts, Blends, Irish, Canadian, Japanese, American Craft, etc. If you are new to whisky, I suggest choosing bottles from different categories and going as pure as possible (single malts, straight Bourbons, straight rye) and not because there aren’t good blends out there (there are!) but because the authentic characteristics of each type of whisky are often more diluted or altered in a blend.
“Bring a bottle” – you can have each guest bring a bottle (though perhaps it’s best to confirm choices before hand so you can make sure you have some diversity)
“Vertical” – like a Vertical Wine flight, you can do a tasting of the same producer but different years
“Single category” – having different producers from the same category (like all Ryes or all Canadian whiskies) to start to understand the different nuances between the distilleries (think about their production methods and their climate & altitude locations as these effect how the whiskies age in the casks).
“Single Region” – look at trying Scotch’s all from the same area, Bourbons from just Kentucky or Tennessee
“Craft vs Mass Producer” – look for a small producer (perhaps one that is close to your neck of the woods?) and compare their product to one of the “big boys”
Feel free to get creative! This is the fun part!
1) Pour whisky & pass around to friends
2) Observe color and clarity (murkiness is OK! If your whisky is cloudy, the distiller did NOT use chill-filtration before bottling which removes impurities but also removes flavors)
3) Smell! Putting your nose gently above the glass (give it some space!) start to inhale and enjoy the different notes you find. Get in there – move your nose around to different points around the mouth of the glass, top, bottom, sides, open your mouth as you inhale through your nose … this will help you find different flavors. Move your head away from the glass, inhale non-whisky air, and go back in again.
4) Chew – Take a very small sip that is enough to prep your palate but not enough to swallow. “Chew” it by moving it around your mouth, letting it dissolve on your tongue.
5) Taste. Be taken away by the spirit! Pay attention to how it changes as it moves around, how it feels once you’ve swallowed it and the lingering effect it leaves in your mouth (called the “finish”)
6) Be a chemist! Time to add a few drops of water. This helps to calm down the alcohol and bring out the more delicate notes of the whisky. Nose it again than drink and enjoy!
7) Rinse and repeat!
August 19, 2011 § 5 Comments
Hello my dear readers! Get your calendars out and your credit cards ready…
Today I am reminding you to purchase your tickets for two key whisk(e)y events happening this Fall in/around NYC… and I post this bearing a coupon code gift. With over 200 whiskies from around the world being poured at each event, how could you go wrong? Keep reading!
Thursday, September 8th, 2011
*GOING BACK TO THE SPIRIT OF NEW YORK BOAT*
SMALLER SHIP – MORE WHISKY – MORE FOOD
PLUS EXCLUSIVE WHISKY & NEW RELEASES
September 8, 2011, 7:00pm-10:00
Pier 61, West 23rd Street New York, NY
And, for being your awesome selves, WhiskyGuild was super kind in giving me a coupon code to share with all of you! Please use WGmember at checkout for a 10% discount 😀
Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
In addition to the main event on November 1st, Malt Advocate has also organized WhiskyWeek. Yes, I said it, a whole week of exciting whisky events happening at many of my favorite places!
Hope to see you all there! Let me know if you’re planning on attending – I’ll be the one skipping around with a huge grin on her face and a full dram in her hand!
August 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Can’t believe the timing on this but if you read my post earlier this week about Balcones (HERE) and are intrigued by these awesome whiskies, there’s a FREE tasting TONIGHT from 6pm-8pm at Astor Place Wine & Spritis!
Love. Summer. Fridays.
Whisky distilled from blue corn! Blue corn whisky smoked with Texas Scrub Oak! American malt whiskey made from barley smoked with peat, cherry, and beechwood! This Friday at Astor, fight your way through the throngs of whiskey nerds and taste these truly innovative, utterly unique, mind-bendingly delicious new spirits.
6:00-8:00 | This event is free
**Announcement originally posted HERE on nycwhisky.com**
June 11, 2011 § 9 Comments
I was asked on Twitter the other day what stores in NYC have the best whisky collections.
I wish I could have shared a more “secret” shop; a cool, hidden, underground, off the radar type of store that you only know about through word of mouth and need a secret code to get in …. however … I have yet to find that one (or maybe that’s where the small door around the corner leads to!).
Here is the truth of the matter: if it is sold in NYC chances are the sales rep’s first stop is Astor Place Wines & Spirits. As an Astor employee told me the other day: “if it’s out there – it’s on our shelves” In addition to a multiple whisky-dedicated floor-to-celling shelves, they also have a few free standing locked cases with some very expensive, high-end and rare whiskies. They also have a great ecommerce site and can ship to lots of states (bonus!)
The second place to try is Drink Up New York. Located in Brooklyn, I have yet to venture out to their brick & mortar shop but have purchased from them online.
Another – and most “secretive” of the bunch – is Le Du Wines. Not only is it a fabulous wine store (#1 by Zagats 2011) but I know that Jean-Luc Le Du is personally on the hunt for some rare, less seen whiskies. He will be beefing up his true craft bourbon & rye stock to launch early Fall. I am going crazy with excitement to see what he brings in and how he improves on his ever-impressive and evolving inventory. Visit the store in person any Saturday from 4-7 to stumble upon an awesome (& typically free!) wine tasting event. And it usually is an event.
Of course – the other mecca for fantastic, amazing & a truly complete Whisky/Whiskey selections is Park Avenue Liquor Shop!
Is there a shop in your neighborhood that stocks your favorite rare whiskies? Share below!