If your only vision of Japanese whisky involves Bill Murray drinking Suntory, it is not your fault. The range of Japanese whiskies available in the US has been limited and expensive. But in the last couple of years, Japanese whisky’s popularity—and thankfully, availability—has soared, allowing in some younger and more affordable whiskies.
Japanese whisky traditionally follows in the Scotch tradition, but with its own distinct flavor absorbed from the Japanese environment. To learn more, I spent a Saturday afternoon at Char No. 4 at a Japanese tasting class led by their whiskey expert, Allan Roth.
This is the tastiest spring cleaning I have come across.
Apparently Diageo had some extra barrels to get rid of. Like when you buy some distilleries and those distilleries happen to be Stitzel-Weller (former home of Pappy) and Bernheim and they have some extra barrels of whiskey in the corner that are maybe 19-21 years old. You know. Happens.
Thus began the Orphan Barrel Project to unload that extra whiskey in limited edition bottles.
To that age-old question of whether bacon belongs in chocolate chip cookies, I say yes. Yes it does.
For a food pairing to go with Whistle Pig rye, I was – naturally – trying to find a recipe for bacon cookies. I came across one that was oatmeal, raisin, and bacon from Bon Appétit. But why would one use raisins when chocolate exists?
Once you start looking, there are a surprising amount of bacon chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, but most require a half cup of bacon fat. If that makes you go “yum,” well that’s interesting. I only like to see my baking fat in certain forms, like butter.
And I liked the oatmeal idea. So I went with the first recipe, substituted chocolate for the raisins, and substituted 3 tablespoons of bourbon for the vanilla.
The result? Bacon bourbon oatmeal chocolate cookies. A nice pairing with Whistle Pig. A nice pairing with life.
What did you do last weekend? Oh, I spent Sunday at Bourbon Academy. That’s right. Eight hours of whiskey history and whiskey at Brooklyn Kitchen.
This class was US history through the eyes of whiskey and the development of bourbon. And let’s be honest, isn’t that the most realistic and fun way to experience it?
Led by Mike Veach of Filson Historical Society out of Kentucky, this class started with frontiersmen having their “eye-opener” shot of whiskey first thing in the morning before taming those wild west farms when Kentucky was the edge of the US. Many brought their stills with them when they settled in Kentucky in the 18th century. The class then followed Kentucky whiskey history through the Civil War and Prohibition and World War II and then that sad time when whiskey sales dipped…followed by today’s resurgence.