This was really just a weird day… but in a good way.
It started with getting a needle jammed into my arm and accidentally peeing on my hand – gross (despite all my practice, I’m terrible at urine samples); in the middle there was a mustache parade (not a euphemism) and a coworker wearing a bear suit; and towards the end there was whiskey, pottery, and me crammed four-wide into a pickup truck with some awesome Venezuelans.
While work was a little fun today, the most fun was had after work at Wigle Whiskey. As I’ve written on here many times, I’m a big fan of Wigle. I like their story, I like their events, their venues, their employees, and (most important) I love their products. I was invited to attend the Rye Whiskey and Pottery Char Comparision Release Party tonight at Wigle, and since the BF was busy, I brought along a friend. We started off with one of the signature cocktails for the evening, which included rye whiskey, wheat whiskey, tea, lavender bitters, and some other things I can’t remember. (Bad blogger, bad memory, or strong drinks? You decide.) The drink was delicious, as they always are, and although they didn’t taste strong, they packed a little bit of a punch.
We mingled a little and then headed over to the distillery portion of the building, where The Union Project was set up to help us throw our own whiskey cups! I’ve always been curious about throwing pottery, but the only frame of reference I had was that scene in Ghost. While I did not have a Ghost experience, I did have a fun time throwing my first cup ever. I was terrified I was going to screw it up, but I think it’ll turn out just fine. It still needs to be fired and glazed (The Union Project is doing that for us), so hopefully we’ll be able to pick up our specimens in the coming week or so.
After we got down and dirty with the clay, we stopped by the food table (Thin Man Sandwich Shop, I luuuuurve you!) and then headed over to the whiskey tasting station. The bartender was serving up three different variations of the same batch of organic rye whiskey while explaining in-depth the differences between each variation – how both the char of the barrels and the amount of time the barrels rested (“seasoning”) affected the taste, smell, and feel of the whiskey.
It was very interesting to be able to taste the difference that the char and seasoning made on each of the whiskeys. The first one we tried, “Batch 22,” had a char of 4 and was seasoned for 36 months. This seemed to be the most potent of the three whiskeys – it tasted spicy and smoky to me; it would make the kind of mixed drink that would kick you in the pants. This is not a whiskey for wimps, but it’s fantastic if you’ve just come in from the below-freezing wind – it’ll warm you right up! The second one we tried was “Batch 23,” which was seasoned for 24 months and had a char of 4. There was a noticeable difference between 22 and 23; 23 was less spicy and easier to drink. I preferred 23 over 22, but that’s only because I hadn’t yet tried Batch 24. 24 ended up being my favorite, I think. It was seasoned for 24 months and had a char of 3, which meant that this whiskey tasted sweeter than the other two. Batch 24 was the easiest to drink, and though it was sweeter, it still had a nice smokiness to it. I imagine it would make a great Old Fashioned, or even a smoky whiskey + ginger beer.
After the tasting, we nibbled on a few more apps and then my friend’s husband and his brother came to pick us up (hence being smushed together in a pickup truck). They were able to get me to a non-sketchy bus stop without me freezing to death, and for that I am super grateful. I’m sure the whiskey would’ve kept me warm enough internally, but I’m not so sure about externally. 😉
All told, it was a decent day and a really fun night; it was definitely a nice change of pace.
Edited to add: How could I forget? I gave beets another shot, in sandwich form tonight. Not nearly as good on a sandwich as they are in a salad, covered in dressing. It was like eating a dirt sandwich. I’ll stick to bacon next time; lesson learned. 🙂
** Note: I was invited to attend the release party for free, but I was not asked to write anything about Wigle Whiskey. I just had a nice time drinking good whiskey and I love them and want them to be successful. **