It might not be obvious, but I enjoy wine. (Who would have known?) Despite my ultimate goal of becoming a seasoned oenophile with an enviable collection of labels from far and wide (few from California, though… because… ew), I dabble in the world of spirits now and then. To change it up a little.
A few weeks back I attended a Grey Goose launch event, for their new flavour – Cherry Noir. I hate flavoured vodkas because of how artificial they taste. But of course, Grey Goose is Grey Goose… I love La Poire because it’s light, and Cherry Noir is about to become a bar cabinet staple (assuming I can keep dirty hands off it, that is).
Last year, almost to the day, I went on a whiskey tour. I don’t drink whiskey (or most other hard liquors) but we do what we must. This week we were invited to a Jim Beam (bourbon for the uninitiated – there aren’t many of you out there) tasting, held at Spirit House and hosted by seventh gen Beam distiller and grandson of Jim Beam himself, Fred Noe. (sell sell sell!)
I don’t understand the subtle differences between whiskey, bourbon, and scotch. Although I get that bourbon is kind of an American thing… and there’s something to do with the barrelling or distilling or blah blah whatever. Usually I’m like, just pour it over ice and give it to me. Which they did. In spades.
They had mint juleps (they’re so fascinating and refreshingly minty), a flask of bourbon with cherry juice and probably something else I don’t remember… an awesome bourbon sour (that was made the traditional way and I had like three of) and a derby that looked prettier than it tasted. It was smooth though.
And the individual tasting. I do not have a refined palatte, but there’s a marked difference between the three versions they had on display. The smoothest was the traditional (?) Jim Beam, light and simple (although it did set my mouth on fire for a minute). The second was a bit stronger, I bet good on the rocks with a hint of citrus or something (I know, who am I?) but the third, the Knobb Creek, was so fucking strong I couldn’t finish the teeny bit they’d poured into the glass. Luckily, a brand rep and bartender was on hand to witness my messed up expression and suggested we pour a little water into the glass, which serves to open up the bouquet. What a difference a little water makes! I was stunned at how the scents and flavours really woke up. (Again, who am I?)
Other bonuses of the evening? Mini pork sliders and individual poutines smothered in cheese and gravy. I wish I had one of those right now.