It is extremely difficult to describe the size and scale, the overwhelming experience, the monstronsity that was the Single Malt Scotch and Whisky Extravaganza. The few hours – where over 100 single malt varieties from no less than 48 brands were generously poured – were nothing short of heaven. Coupled with dinner and a pair of cigars, this was certainly a special Wednesday evening. Although difficult to describe, I shall do my best.
The extravaganza is put on by The Single Malt Scotch Whisky Society, a private club with the goal of promoting “the appreciation and discerning consumption of the finest whisky in the world.” An excellent goal if I have ever heard one. The Society’s extravaganza tours the U.S. each year, stopping in a dozen cities, including D.C.
While I probably enjoy single malts a bit more than most, I am by no means an expert. And with such a variety available to taste, I entered the extravaganza determined to spend some quality time with brands I’ve not tried before. Over the course of the evening I was able to enjoy dram after dram of Aberfeldy, Aberlour, Ardbeg, Auchentoshan, The Balvenie, The Dalmore, Dewar’s, The Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, Isle of Jura, Knappogue Castle, Laphroaig, Oban, The Macallan, and Talisker. In addition to this multitude of brands, each table presented several expressions of their product, aged 10 to 21 years. And it was here, tasting the individual bottle expressions presented by a specific brand, where I discovered new favorites such as Aberlour and The Glenrothes.
It was indeed a decadent evening. And following such copious amounts of scotch, a cigar would best conclude the evening. Thankfully those too had been supplied by our hosts; a short two block walk later and I was sitting in a soft leather chair, slowly drawing my cigar, enjoying the warmth in my chest. And considering what bottle to purchase next.