Sunday, April 28, 2013

Whiskey Night

So Aviva and Soren were in Philly for the night last night, visiting family and attending a baby shower .... and giving me a bachelor night. Given that I am getting older, a bachelor night is not what it used to be (and for me really never was) ...

But I still manage to have a good time, and last night that good time involved a lot of whiskey, as Erez and I (really Erez as my friends were all busy) rounded up a group of guys for another Scotch night.

Erez and I met up early, at Park Avenue Liquors on Madison, to pick up a couple of bottles of Scotch ... Erez had lost a bet and owed me a nice bottle, and while I was there I figured I would pick up another. The final selections were a Bruichladdich 21 year old finished in a Oloroso Sherry cask and the 2012 distillers edition of Caol Ila, finished in Moscatel casks. Both are Islays, not really my style, but both are finished in sweet wine casks and promised to be much lighter and sweeter than the typical Islay.

Selections in hand, Erez and I took advantage of the beautiful day to walk up from 40th to the Upper West Side by way of Central Park. I was a great walk, I think that one of the best things about New York is that every year during the winter I forget and am then happily reminded of how lovely New York looks in the spring.

The evening was great, we met at Alachi Masala, a small BYOB Indian place on the Upper West side, around 83rd and Amsterdam. The food was very good but forgettable due to the 7 glasses of whiskey I drank, but the hospitality was great and I have to say that I had not realized what a great match Naan and curry were for whiskey until this evening.

We started with the Bruichladdich, which was really delicious, smoky but not overpoweringly so, with a lot of sweetness at the end. It was approximately what I was expecting, a complex Islay with a lighter, sweeter finish. Delicious. The rest of the evening involved discussions of dating and the theory of gold diggers, the difference between being 23 and 36 (that difference being distilled down to the size of each pour - 1 finger for a 36 year old, 3 fingers for a 23 year old) and a number of other, similarly meaningless but interesting topics. After drinking the Bruichladdich, the tastings went as follows,

Blantons Single Barrel,
Caol Ila Distillers edition,
Four Roses Single Barrel,
Sazerac Rye,
Springbank 10,
Bulleit Burbon.

I very much enjoyed the Blantons and the Springbank, as well as the Scotches I brought - the Sazerac and Bulleit were both good but as I have had them a number of times they were not that exciting. The biggest surprise, and honestly the best tasting whiskey, was probably the Four Roses single barrel, specially bottled at Park Avenue liquors. It is a 10 year old bourbon, and it still had the distinctive bourbon bite, but was wonderfully smooth and oaky. It was really delicious. 

Overall, a great night out and despite the fact that I did not get hom until 1115, didn't get to sleep until 1230 and didn't sleep wonderfully, I cannot wait to do it again.

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