Tonight: A Double Shot of Single-Malt Whisky
Scotch lovers, I hope you're free tonight, because there are two events that are worth your time and money -- especially if you're a fan of single malts from Speyside. The small, century-old Balvenie distillery isn't as widely known as its bigger neighbors like Glenfiddich, but it's been steadily winning awards at different whisky competitions in recent years.
If you haven't given it a try, consider spending happy hour at PS 7's, where from 5:30 to 7:30, you can sample whiskeys under the tutelage of Sam Simmons, the author of the Dr. Whisky Web site, a judge at international competitions and, coincidentally, Balvenie's "brand ambassador" to the U.S. Try a few drams of various hand-crafted Balvenies for free, and if you're looking for something different, PS 7 cocktail whiz Gina Chersevani will prepare two special Balvenie-based drinks for purchase. She promises a punch made with the smooth, oaky Balvenie Doublewood 12 ($7), which sounds tempting, but I'm more intrigued by a mix of the 17-year-old Rum Cask -- which, as you may guess from the name, was aged in casks of Jamaican rum -- with pineapple and sage ($12). I've never sampled that Scotch, but I like the premise.
Once the happy hour at PS 7's is finished, Simmons is off to Wisdom, the cozy cocktail lounge on the edge of Capitol Hill, where he'll lead a more structured tasting of four of Balvenie's offerings -- including limited editions and some high-end single malts you're not likely to buy on a whim at your local liquor store, like the 21-year-old PortWood. Tickets are $25, available from dcwisdom.com. Doors open at 7:30; the tasting itself should last around 45 minutes.
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