Happy New Year! The ladies of Seattle's LUPEC toasted each other with a delicious tasting of 3 Japanese Whiskys (no e in this Whisky) at Capitol Hill's Liberty Bar.
Bar co-owners and whisky enthusiasts Keith Waldbauer & Andrew Friedman were gracious & generous hosts to about 30 of us last week. We had the gorgeous private back room all to ourselves and were welcomed in with glasses of punch which Keith made based on the cocktail "The Japanese Gardner": Yamazaki 12, lemon juice, apricot liqueur, simple syrup and Peychaud bitters. Delish!
We all got a chance to mix and mingle while snacking on some yummy sushi rolls. I think there were about 4 new attendees- welcome!
Andrew then led us in a fantastic side by side tasting and lecture on 3 whiskys. First up was the Hibiki 12, a gorgeous blended whisky partially aged in Japanese Plum Liquor barrels. Lighter and fruitier in flavor, everyone was immediately impressed!
Next we tasted the Yamazaki 12. Unlike the Hibiki this is a single malt whisky and is aged in casks made of American, Spanish and Japanese white oak. The flavor has more dried fruit & wood. A personal favorite of mine (Andrew first introduced me to this before my trip to Japan in 2008) I think it was also the group's favorite of the night.
The final whisky was Yamazaki's 18. A powerful stunner it's the same single malt of the 12 only aged a full 18 years. And although the alcohol % is the same most of us felt it was much hotter. Lots of toasty wood, a dark caramel color and a drier finish this is a beautiful sipping whisky.
Andrew then presented us with a riff on a hot toddy (perfect for that cold evening!) made with the Hibiki 12, a black tea infused syrup and lemon. Thanks go out to Courtney and Cameo for helping to remember what was in that!
After the planned portion of the evening Andrew & Keith left us to continue our in-depth discussions on the fine nuances of Japanese Whisky with the open bottles they had poured from earlier. Dangerous, very very dangerous!
If you were there what did you think of the whisky? Did you have a favorite?
Huge thanks to Liberty- Andrew & Keith! If you couldn't make the meeting or haven't been I absolutely recommend an evening there. Btw their back private room is great and available for parties!
517 15th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112