The folks at The Old Gold* take their whiskey very seriously. There have over 100 bottles to choose from, some of it rare, and they even recently traveled to Kentucky to procure their own barrel of nine-year-old Elmer T Lee. They also run regular Whiskey 101 classes, a safe and friendly tasting session for beginners, those that want to fill gaps in their knowledge (apparently it’s popular with women as men think they already know it all), or perhaps even those souls who erroneously believe they don’t like whiskey.

I took a class with Andrew, the bar manager, and he took us through a history of the drink that included a discussion of where the name bourbon originated and why whiskey is sometimes spelled whisky. We learned the differences and regulations pertaining to bourbon, rye, Irish, Canadian, Scotch and Japanese varieties, what moonshine is and how much of the stuff that may appear artisanal and local is in fact shipped in from Canada and given a pretty label and marketing campaign (nothing necessarily wrong in that as the newer companies haven’t had time to age their own whiskey yet). Andrew also has his opinions on why Pappy Van Winkle is overrated, but don’t listen to him when he suggests putting ice in your Scotch. There are a half dozen samples to try, including the Elmer T, a Macallan Scotch and Old Overholt rye; if you like something in particular the bar tenders will have recommendations for what else to try, which could be a start of a beautiful relationship. Whiskey 101, The Old Gold, 2105 N. Killingsworth, next class January 17, $30 (gift certificates available for a limited time)

* Federal journalism regulations obligate us to mention that the Old Gold is co-owned by former Mercury music editor Ezra Caraeff. Hi, Ezra!

No, you dont get to taste all of these
  • No, you don't get to taste all of these