August 25, 2016
Scotch 101 at The Flatiron Room Whiskey School is Fun, Educational
We have been trumpeting the Whiskey School courses at The Flatiron Room for quite some time. But on August 13th, Experience NoMad attended its very first class, Scotch 101, since getting a private tasting with owner Tommy Tardie just after the launch of Flatiron Room in 2012.
The course was hosted in the tasting room, situated above the main bar area. The softly lit room, decorated with vintage Italian wallpaper and black walnut tables, provided the perfect ambience to enjoy and learn about scotch. The tasting began with a Rusty Nail, a signature scotch cocktail, followed by six individual scotch varieties, including Glenlivet 15-year and Bruichladdich Islay Barley Rockside Farm, along with a light appetizer platter.
David McNeil led the tasting. Originally from the Scottish Highlands, David grew up in the scotch industry. His grandfather worked in a distillery and, after finishing college where he was part of a scotch club, David went on to work at a distillery himself. He was introduced to scotch at 14, which in Scotland is considered a “late starter.” David also ran his own scotch tourism company and launched a UK-based gin brand in New York City. Aside from being a fount of knowledge on everything scotch, David is a great teacher with a wonderful sense of humor.
Topics of his talk ranged from the history behind scotch names and the distillation process to surprising facts about items printed on the bottles that we all come across when buying whiskey. For instance, a 12-year scotch is not 12 years old, but a mixture of whiskies older than 12 years.
We learned some particularly surprising things: 1) Adding a splash of water to whiskey raises the temperature of the drink 1 to 3 degrees, which decreases numbing of the tongue, thereby enhancing the flavor of the whiskey; 2) All scotch is matured in used barrels that previously held either bourbon or sherry; and 3) A great way to tell where your whiskey’s barrel came from is by the tingling on your tongue — if the tingling is in the front of your tongue that barrel came from America, while tingling at the back means it came from Europe!
Every one of the 30-plus people in attendance had a fun, educational and laughter-filled evening at Scotch 101. Casey and Corey were two participants sitting near us at The Flatiron Room. They were there to celebrate Casey’s birthday. “If you are interested in learning about scotch,” Casey said, “this is the place to go.”
Take our word for it that, no matter your level of whiskey knowledge, the Whiskey School courses are the perfect way to start your night out in NoMad.