Sharing a Glass

The Whiskey Gentlemen was founded on curiosity and a desire to share what we learn. That spirit and sentiment persist to this day. As we investigate as many avenues of interest in whiskey as we can find, we have uncovered some unexpected treasures.

I could easily be talking simply about some of the many amazing drams we’ve had or the events we’ve attended, but that would fall far short of our experience.

What we’ve found is something that goes beyond the product itself – a community of producers and enthusiasts that revel in new production techniques, inventive flavor profiles, clever cocktails, secret stashes, prized finds and the fun in just sharing a drink among friends.

The social aspect of participating in the whiskey culture has been among the most rewarding discoveries in the journey, as we realize the connections that would otherwise not be made.  As we add more Gents to the group, we look forward to expanding on that circle of interest and sharing recent finds such as those below.

The Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch release Colonel EH Taylorfrom the Buffalo Trace distillery is bottled at a potent 100 proof and was the recipient of two awards (Gold and Double Gold metal) in 2015 according to the maker’s website.

A generous pour of this delicious bourbon debuted its way into my glass at a relative’s house and represents yet another fine addition to Buffalo Trace’s repertoire of quality products.

Whether in a cocktail, with a bit of water or poured over an ice cube to level out the higher alcohol content, this bourbon makes a flavorful and satisfying beverage.

Continue reading

Winter, Whiskey and Writing

The blog has been quiet for several months, but the Whiskey Gents have been far from idle. As the winter weather approaches, the time has come to crack open a bottle from the season’s collection, pour a glass, pull up a chair, and start writing down where we’ve been.

The summer and early autumn months provided us with opportunities to share among friends and family a couple bottles of bourbon and whisky, such as:

  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Edward & Mackie Craigellachie Speyside Single Malt Scotch (13 year)
  • The Hakushu Single Malt Japanese Whisky (12 year)
  • Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (2016 Whisky of the Year, per Jim Murray, author of The Whisky Bible)

These and several other simple events punctuated the months leading up to what we’ve come to appreciate as whiskey season.  Beginning in October every year, as the food truck and beer sampling events wind down, a flurry of whiskey tastings and similar events come blowing in to warm our hearts and sustain us through winter.

In addition, the Gents have happily welcomed some newcomers to the group who have been attending events with the originators of our club. Upcoming articles will cover these (as well as yet unplanned) WGOC events!

  • Fox River Distillery tour
  • Greenbar Craft Distillery tour
  • Clyde May’s Alabama Style Whiskey
  • Desserts and Drams at Drumbar
  • River North Whiskey Festival

We look forward to sharing with our readers and members all the activities that allow us to partake in the learning and enjoyment of long established and brand new whiskeys / whiskies.

Several new articles will be posted in the next couple weeks.  Follow us on twitter to be notified of each one!

Cheers!

Hop, Skip, Jump to HopScotch!

Leading into the close of 2013, the winter was just getting started when the Whiskey Gentlemen headed out to explore a bar with a tantalizingly playful moniker in Franklin Park, a stone’s throw from O’Hare Airport and Rosemont.

Selected Spirits:

  • Lagavulin 16 year
  • Oban and Glenmorangie Signet – revisited

Winter’s arctic blasts were not yet on the Chicago doorstep when the Gents crossed the threshold into one of Franklin Park’s newest bars.  Situated at 9743 Franklin Ave just two minutes’ walk from the town’s Metra station, HopScotch offers what its name implies: a selection of craft beers (hops) and a generously stocked menu of Scotch, among other choices of bourbon and whiskey.  Beer fanatics will keep coming back for a rotating selection of 100 wonderfully unique brews, two dozen on tap at any time, not to mention a kitchen with an outstanding selection of better than average burgers, pasta and “sharables” – single or double servings of homemade appetizers.

We, however, were primarily in it for – you guessed it – the whiskey, and HopScotch did not disappoint.  In fact, HopScotch may quite possibly become the Whiskey Gentlemen of Chicago’s new home bar and/or meeting place of choice.  Continue reading

Whiskey Flights and Movie Nights in our October 2012 Newsletter

The 2012 October Newsletter edition is now available! Rockit Burger Bar invites The Gents to partake in Wednesday’s feature event “Whiskey Flights and Movie Nights”

The Whiskey Gentlemen of Chicago are a small group of whiskey enthusiasts who, a year ago, launched a blog with the objective of documenting our exploration into the world of whiskey.

We attend tastings, visit distilleries and patronize bars and restaurants in and around Chicagoland, growing our experience and knowledge of whiskey from production to consumption.

This month, we are pleased to mark our first anniversary by accepting an invitation to review Rockit Burger Bar on 3700 N. Clark in Wrigleyville.

We thank all of your who have read our blog and help us build a following on Twitter @WGchicago. Stay tuned as we launch into another year of scouting across Chicago for more whiskey events!

Selected Spirits

  • Hudson Collection (NY Corn, Baby Bourbon, Single Malt, Manhattan Rye)
  • Rye Collection ((rī)1, Templeton, Old Overholt, Rittenhouse)
  • Scotch Collection (Laphroaig, Glenmorangie, Macallan, Balvenie)
  • Mixed Drinks
  • Rockit Man
  • Craft Beers

The Movie featured at Rockit Burger Bar last Wednesday was Step-Brothers, a most Continue reading

April 2012 Newsletter

The 2012 April Newsletter is now available! Discovering the “Duke of Perth” Scottish pub

The Gents drop in and check out the Duke’s pub for its well-regarded selection of single malt Scotches and a worldly selection of whiskeys and beers

 

The Duke of Perth – walk into the pub, the atmosphere welcomes.  Sit at the bar, the selection beckons. Order a Scotch, the bartender delivers.  “Dukeophiles” familiar with the Duke’s website will know that the Duke of Perth was chosen by whiskymag.com as a “Great Whisky Bar of the World” a few years back. Motivated by the accolade and the very respectable complement of whisky choices, the Gents had ample reason to investigate personally at 2913 N. Clark in Chicago.

Selected Spirits

  • Oban 14 (Highland)
  • Glenkinchie 12 (Lowland)
  • Clynelish 10 (Highland)
  • Caol Ila 12 (Islay)
  • Talisker 10 (Skye)
  • Laphroig 10 (Islay)

The Gents filed into the pub and, in lieu of a table toward the back, each grabbed a Continue reading

February 2012 Newsletter

The 2012 February Newsletter is now available! An evening with Glenmorangie.

The Gents meet at Binny’s to sample seven Scotches.

Sampled Spirits

  • Original 10 Year
  • La Santa
  • Quinta Ruban
  • Nectar d’Or
  • Artein
  • 18 Year
  • Signet

“I could take a bath in it if I wanted to,”

Dr. Bill Lumsden gleefully boasted to the audience. Who could blame him if he did? Lumsden is the head of distilling and whiskey creation for Glenmorangie and our speaker for the evening. A 17-year veteran at Glenmorangie, the scientist passionately shared the distillery’s products and history, often with a sprinkling of irreverent humor. As a man who believes in banning caramel coloring as an additive, Lumsden is well-suited to represent the distillery, which purchased the lands surrounding their Tarlogie Spring water source to protect its purity. The dedication and craftsmanship is obvious in the variety and quality of Glenmorangie’s whiskeys.

The Location

The Gents met at Binny’s at 1720 N. Marcy in Chicago and (after some browsing in the appropriate store aisles) headed upstairs to the events and seminar room. The room was handsomely arranged with red curtain drawn for privacy from the retail area. Tables were situated in a V shape cradling the presentation area, and each place was set with glasses of Glenmorangie varieties in preparation for the tasting.