Holiday Spirits

By The Editors
December 10, 2012 9:00 am

For all its islay’d nuances, and its highland heritage steeped in peet and thievery, scotch is actually a simple proposition.

It tastes damn good.

Appreciate that taste — and all of scotch’s brown and amber complexities — at The Brandy Library, now taking group reservations for private tastings. 

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Like a Borges-ian Babel of the brown, The Brandy Library is a warm, leather and wood study stocked with every scotch on God’s sherry-casked earth.

Private tastings for 4-25 are two and half hours, and your malt tutor will be Flavien Desoblin — the Library’s owner and “International Cognac Personality of the Year 2010” (‘cause that’s a thing). 

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Your choices include a standard 2.5-hour scotch class, or a session on “Rare & Precious Scotch,” where sipping a discontinued 27-year-old malt from the Scottish Highlands’ highest village isn’t uncommon. 

Each tasting begins with a cocktail of the night’s chosen hooch, then Desoblin takes you through tasting “flights” where you’ll learn to distinguish brands with the aid of water droppers or barrel shards — so you can sniff what a difference Japanese or Spanish oak makes.  

You’ll also get schooled on regional differences, and how to buy your spirits smartly. 

Because knowing, as they say, is half the bottle.


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