I Want To Be a Mistress of Whisky!

With all there is to do in DC, it’s amazing that two posts in a row will center on Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar.  But them’s the facts, so prepare to be amazed!

Little Miss Whiskey’s hosts free whiskey tastings on the last Tuesday of every month (this week was one early because of the holiday).  At 7:00, a whiskey/whisky master will take you through the intricacies of tasting.

And I needed some coaching.  Though I will admit to having developed a taste for whiskey, I had never really given the spirit itself too much thought.  I know about wine and how it is made, I know about beer and how it is made, now it’s time to learn about whiskey.

Our tutor last night was Ewan Morgan, a real live Scot with a real adorable accent, who educated the audience of about twenty on the history and geography of whisky making in Scotland.  Where and how the whisky is made matters enormously.  And if you don’t know that whisky is spelled without an e in Scotland, you shouldn’t even be reading this.  Just leave now.

Alright, now that they’re gone, we can get down to the business of tasting.  Ewan walked us slowly through four Scotches, moving from delicate and light to rich and smoky.  Just the way he said, We’ve started with the lighter ones first.  If I gave you the Oban Lagavulin beforehand, your tastebuds would have been obliterated makes me smile.  Imagine Sean Connery saying the above, wearing a tweed jacket and waving a tumbler of Scotch around.  Delightful, yes?

As we progressed, we tasted a 15 year Dalwinnie, a 12 year Cardhu, a 14 year Oban, and a 16 year Lagavulin.  This seemed daunting at first (and yes, we were happier when we left than when we arrived).  But the important part for me was the new way of tasting.  If you don’t have any Scotch handy, try to find some and come back.  OK, got it?

So take a sip, roll it over your tongue from side to side.  Now let it rest on the tip of your tongue until it starts to burn.  Shoot it up between your front teeth and your lip.  Swallow, breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose.  When I tasted the Oban, I was blown away.  I almost thought I had been standing next to a campfire built on a Scottish beach, breathing out that smoky, rich smell and taste.

Is any of this sounding appealing?  Ewan, my new favorite Master of Whisky, will be leading another free tasting tonight at Marvin (14th and U, NW).  Make sure to be there by 6:15 and say hello from me.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. jkc says:

    mmmm, scotch. scotchy scotch scotch. that was a very fun seminar indeed. Master Ewan was quite the entertaining scotsman.

  2. tobin says:

    All of my delicious drink tastings in NYC and DC have me jonesing to make good stuff at home. I found a site (http://sfmixology.com/classes.html) that looks pretty cool here in SF, I’m gonna see if I can make my own at home, after being schooled by a master. I sense that this will become a cripplingly expensive hobby very quickly.

    1. I agree, but take heart–there are hobbies out there that are WAY more expensive. Model shipbuilding. Coke. Stamp collecting.

  3. G-LO says:

    Yo DC Style!

    That sounds like a fun night! I’ve been to several tastings (plus the tastings that we organize on our own) and they are always good fun! Three of the four you sampled were also my first single malts (plus Glenlivet and Glenfiddich of course). Was this a Diageo event (they own all four distilleries)? Of the four you tried, Oban and Lagavulin are my favorites, while the other two are great introductory SIngle Malts. I tend to like the bigger whiskies, especially the Islays.


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