|Whiskey has long been hailed as the quintessential man's drink, so imagine my surprise and delight when I arrived at the Next Door Lounge's "Whiskey Wednesdays" to find a table dominated by women. As my eyes feasted upon the four elite whiskies at the table's center - Bulleit, Bushmills, Crown Royal and Oban - I knew this night was going to be a good one.
Next Door Lounge in Hollywood, CA.
PHOTO: CARL LARSEN
Whiskey Wednesdays, the limited-time series that Hollywood hotspot Next Door Lounge launched last month, features a guided tasting of four whiskey selections revolving around one of four themes: whiskies of the world, North American whiskies, blended scotches and single malt scotches.
The weekly event has already been a smashing success, attracting consumers and whisk(e)y aficionados alike. And it's no mystery why: Next Door Lounge's cool speakeasy-inspired ambiance provides the perfect backdrop for this fun event, while the diverse selections and informative sessions are well-suited to the growing demand for whisk(e)y education.
The whisk(e)y selection.
PHOTO: MEGAN WIECZOREK
"Whiskeys of the World" was the name of the game for my tasting experience, offering a unique opportunity to globetrot with each new pour. Our world tour, led by whiskey ambassador Sandra Bowing, began in our very own U.S. of A with Bulleit Rye. We hopped continents to sip the 10-Year expression from Bushmills, Ireland's oldest distillery, followed by Canada's Crown Royal Special Reserve, and concluding with Oban's 14-Year-Old single malt scotch. The diversity in flavor profiles reflected the vast range of styles and climates present. From spicy to citrusy, briny to toasty, there was something for every palate and each sip could be appreciated for its unique, charming characteristics.
Every whiskey was first enjoyed straight, and then enhanced by a few drops of water from an eyedropper. The difference in the before and after was monumental. "Water does to whiskey what air does for wine," explained Bowing. "It opens up the flavors and nuances with every sip."
Informational classes like this one are steadily gaining momentum with whiskey's meteoric rise in popularity, due in part to such shows as Mad Men and
Boardwalk Empire. And judging by the demographic at my tasting, Don Draper's drinking preferences have inspired both males and females alike to appreciate this iconic spirit. And with that, I'll take my scotch now-straight, on the rocks. In fact, make that a double.
Next Door Lounge is at 1154 N. Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA. "Whiskey Wednesdays" are $30/person, which includes a whiskey flight of four pours and small bites. The series continues until April 11.
For reservations, go to firstname.lastname@example.org and reference "Whiskey Wednesdays" or call 323-465-5505.