Monday, February 25, 2013

Go Whiskey Weekend - Compass Box dinner

Well, the whisk(e)y weekend at Julio's Liquor is over.  The only downer was the weather.  As I sit here at Logan Airport waiting for my return flight to Washington DC, I can see snow still falling.  Thankfully flights are still rolling out of here so the weather doesn't seem to be affecting departures to a great extent. 

Go Whiskey Weekend started Friday night at the International Club with a dinner and whisky pairing featuring Compass Box and hosted by John Glaser of the same.  Not knowing John's background I was surprised when he stood up and began to speak in a perfect American accent.  I assumed (incorrectly) that he was from across the pond but John was born and raised in the U.S. and hails from Minnesota.  Much of his career was spent  overseas and prior to starting Compass Box about 12 years ago, he worked for Diageo with a focus on trying to increase slumping sales of Johnny Walker.  Wired magazine did a nice write up here.

John is energetic and clearly passionate about whisky and Compass Box.  Of the four selections lined up I had only tried Spice Tree which I think is a decent pour.  The dinner started off with a smoked Salmon salad paired up with Oak Cross.  The main course of lamb was paired with Spice Tree and the butterscotch torte dessert was paired with Hedonism and after dinner coffee was paired with The Peat Monster (meh....not such a monster).  All were good blends with my least favorite being Oak Cross which I thought was too light in character.  The Hedonism was my favorite of the evening although The Peat Monster surprised me with smoke and peat on the nose but the entry displayed a burst of fruit and moderate peat.  It wasn't overplayed to my palate and while good, not one I would necessarily run out and purchase.

After dinner we retired to the cigar lounge to enjoy some cigars and libations.  Since I was the designated DD, the others ordered up whiskey and I stayed with ice water.  We were joined by Gable Erenzo of Hudson Whiskey and we spent the better part of 3 hours enjoying casual conversation.  The bar happened to have a 2012 George T. Stagg so two of the guys ordered up a Stagg.  I'm not sure if the bartender was paying attention because he served up the largest pour I've ever seen delivering  two snifters with a full 6 oz of barrel proof goodness.  The ride back to the hotel was funny with lots of animated conversation which was fine but I'm just glad there was no singing. 

I'll post two additional blogs about Saturday and Sunday.

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