How I Got My (Non-Whiskey Drinking) Friend to Drink Whiskey
I attended a Widow Jane event and managed to convince my suburban, single mother friend to come out with me on a Tuesday night to Brooklyn. She doesn't even really enjoy whiskey but as it turns out, the Widow Jane distillery is also home to Cacao Pierto, a single origin chocolate factory that produces 72% Dominican criollo style dark chocolate.
So this wasn't just an event and tour of a distillery, but of an artisan chocolate factory. BOGO! Score.
We were welcomed into the building and quickly offered rye spiked hot apple cider. A lone electric guitarist played acoustic tunes in the background. White lights twinkled against cask barrels and the shiny copper still. I never thought a distillery could be romantic, but the folks at Widow Jane/Cacao Pierto pulled this off hard. Did I mention the delicious smell of chocolate that permeated the air?
The whole space was downright charming! There was even an interior courtyard with chickens! Because...What better way to discuss how to make whiskey than outside, under a shady tree, with a few chickens? It all strangely works.
Meet the Maker, is a seasonal whiskey pairing event that Widow Jane Distillery began this year. Guests are sat at beautifully set tables right in the distillery and taken through a four-course menu. The whiskey pairings included some of WJ's heirloom whiskeys, paired with locally made bread from Meyers Bageri, honey from Wilk Apiary, and jams from Stagg. Their guest chef, Shawn Burnette, served Peking duck and cornbread made from the same corn used in their whiskey mash bill. So cool!
Out of all the whiskeys I tasted, my favorite was the Wapsie Valley Bourbon. Paired with an early season honey, the distinct flavors of the whiskey gave way to an almost savory finish. It reminded me of blue corn tortilla chips and unlike any whiskey I've had in the past.
At the conclusion of the meal, we listened to how the chef made bourbon butter (literally, finger licking good) and my mind was blown away when he states that food doesn’t actually have any taste but rather, taste is created in our minds. Whaa...? After 7 samples of whiskey, I knew my mind was no longer capable of deeper, intelligible conversation. And so...I simply nodded and smiled.
Sometimes, a lady has to know when to just nod and agree.