The ladies of WOW Chicago kicked off the holiday season right on December 4th with a bourbon tasting at English Bar and Restaurant. We were introduced to the Woodford Reserve profile by our knowledgeable and gracious sponsor, Armando Zapata.
We started our tasting with an opening cocktail and history lesson. Our delicious cocktail, The Black Prince, made with Old Forrester bourbon was a twist on an Old Fashioned with an extra herbal component of a Czech liquor Becherovka which really complemented the spiciness of the bourbon. We all enjoyed the cocktail, so much that a few of us stayed after the tasting and enjoyed a couple more. During our lesson, we tasted Old Forrester which is said to be the very first bourbon put in a bottle. A pharmaceutical salesman, George Garvin Brown, decided to make bourbon and found out his bourbon was being bootlegged and watered down so he decided to sign his name on his bottles. Brown's bourbon is also the first bourbon used in an Old Fashioned, a classic bourbon cocktail.
Drinking whiskey, especially bourbon, in my experience is an opportunity to get in touch with all of your senses. Armando was excellent in guiding us through our tasting with connecting us to our senses. We had four lovely bourbons to experience. We held up our glasses to see that beautiful amber color. We nosed our bourbon, smelling the sweet scents of vanilla, caramel, marshmallow, raisins. As we took a small sip and rolled the bourbon around in our mouth we were able to identify where we could feel the spiciness dancing on our tongue. Tasting the bourbon we are all able to pull out different flavors and the more you sip, the more you discover. Armando passed around a flavor wheel to help us articulate what we could identify.
My favorite offering of the night was Woodford Reserve Double Oak. Woodford Reserve is special for a few reasons, one being out of ten distilleries in Kentucky only two make one brand and one of them is Woodford Reserve. The Double Oak was super special because after its mature it is transferred to another toasted barrel for another eight months to a year. As extra fireworks after our initial sips, Armando passed around some decadent truffles to enjoy along side this selection. Merry Christmas. It was the perfect ending to the tasting, or any evening for that matter.
At the end of our lesson, we had a question and answer session. My favorite question was, "what does drinking whiskey say about you?" All of the ladies went around the table. If your looking to feel more awesome, independent, empowered, calm, rich, complete, complex, or spicy join us at our next event.
Enjoy your holidays and the rest of the year. I know what I am asking Santa to bring me...more whiskey!