I hope your very boozy March hasn’t slowed you down. Good. Because there’s some big whiskey and wine news all around the District. Dive in right here.
Jack Rose Celebrates 2,015 in 2015
On March 25, Jack Rose Dining Saloon celebrated their 2,015th whiskey, with a “2,015 in 2015” event. Bourbon historian and author Michael Veach was on hand, signing copies of his book and leading tastings.
Willett Distillery’s Drew Kulsveen was also at the celebration, to unveil an 11 year old exclusive bottling for the bar, with only 89 total bottles produced. The Willett served as the ceremonial bottle #2,015.
The cask-strength bourbon is bottled at 125.2 proof, and showcases an incredibly smooth profile. It features a rich, chewy mouthfeel and a burst of caramel on the finish – absolutely beautiful. The entire crowd got to sample a celebratory dram of the stuff.
Does Jack Rose have the biggest whiskey list in the country? That’s a question best answered by my recent story for Eater Drinks – The Whiskey Arms Race.
KO Distilling Launching in Manassas
Bill Karlson and John O’Mara broke ground earlier this year on their new Manassas distillery, KO Distilling, with a 550-gallon Vendome Still set to begin churning out the good stuff this spring. The craft distillery will produce bourbon, whiskey, gin and vodka.
The 12,000 sq. ft. facility will also host tours, tastings, events, and will sell product directly in addition to local distribution throughout the DC region.
Karlson John O’Mara co-founded KO Distilling with the ideal of a craft distillery that not only produces premium spirits, but also provides a unique destination experience for visiting patrons.
Irish Whiskey Glendalough Hits DC
Glendalough Distillery, touted as the first craft distillery in Ireland, is now available in the United States, including the D.C. market.
I recently got my hands on a sample of their Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey, an Irish single grain whiskey, made with malted barley and corn, and aged in Bourbon and Sherry casks. It’s a young, light whiskey which would work well in cocktails.
I also noticed fruit and menthol on the nose, along with pine, fruit and wood on the palate, and a malty, grainy finish which carries some heat. With ice, a very distinct almost whipped cream like sweetness appears, along with toffee, with a richer, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.
The full list of restaurants and bars currently offering Glendalough includes Dish, Café Aka, The Dubliner, Ivy and Coney, Maple, Occidental, Ri Ra Irish Pub, Red Hen, Le Grenier, Sulgrave Club, and Restaurant Nora, with local stores stocking the shelves including Bacchus Wine Cellars, Calvert Woodley, Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits, D’Vines, Imperial Liquors, Potamac Wine & Spirits, Modern Liquors, and more.
Truvee Wines Launch in DC
Speaking of new product hitting the shelves, Truvée Wines officially debuted their wares in D.C. last week. Sisters Andre and Robin McBride grew up separately – born in Los Angeles and raised continents apart by their mothers, each coincidentally, in an emerging wine regions – Marlborough, New Zealand and Monetary, California.
The pair connected for the first time in 1999, at the ages of 16 and 25, as a result of their father’s dying wish. The entrepreneurial duo launched Truvée Wines, fittingly derived for the French verb “to find”.
Their two offerings include Central Coast Chardonnay, along with a robust Red Blend.
Truvée is now available for purchase at Harris Teeter, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, 1 West Dupont Circle Wines & Liquors and Chinatown Liquor among others, as well as bars and restaurants including B Too, The Graham Georgetown, Cities and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Toki Underground Teams Up With One Eight Distilling
Toki Underground and One Eight Distilling are teaming up for a dine-and-drink cherry blossom social on Thursday, April 9th from 7 to 10 pm. Billed as Toki on Okie, the event will offer favorites from Toki’s menu paired with cherry blossom inspired drinks made with One Eight Distilling’s District Made Vodka and Rock Creek White Whiskey.
Tickets cost $20, including one plate and one cocktail, and can be purchased online here.
Republic Hosting 5-Course ACORN Wine Dinner
Republic is hosting a 5-course wine dinner with ACORN Wines on April 8 at 7 pm. Winemakers and owners Bill and Betsy Nachbaur will be in attendance. A small production winery, ACORN only produces 3,000 cases of wine per year, and they grow all grapes on their own estate.
Four of their wines will be featured for the evening and paired with dishes from Chef Danny Wells. Tickets cost $85 per person – reserve by calling 301.270.3000.
Start with a welcome glass of Cava, with passed oysters on the half shell and grilled shrimp; then enjoy ACORN Rosato 2013 with an onion bialy, goat cheese, beets and smoked char; followed by ACORN Sangiovese 2011 paired with potato gnocchi, morel mushrooms, arugula pesto and seared pork belly; then ACORN Dolcetto 2011 with a seared duck breast and juniper spiced duck sausage entree; and finally close things out with ACORN Axiom Syrah 2010, paired with Medjool dates stuffed with Rogue River Smokey blue, wrapped in house-cured pancetta.
Slate Wine Bar’s Upcoming Promos
Slate is hosting a variety of upcoming events to ensure you’re not left without wine in the weeks ahead. On April Fools’ Day, their hosting “NotWine” day, with all house cocktails priced at $7. Bottles of wine will also be available at buy one, get one free pricing.
In honor of the return of Mad Men, they’ll be producing a Don Draper Daiquiri available April 6-12.
On Tax Day, April 15, it’s time to drown your sorrows. Soothe your soul with a complimentary dessert when you purchase an entree, as well as the return of buy one, get one free bottles of wine.
Now, we turn our attention to brunch. Because you’re going to need to eat some food at some point with all of this whiskey and wine you’ve been drinking.
Red Light Cocktails & Dessert Bar Launches Brunch
Red Light is launching a brand new brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 am to 3pm. The brunch debuts on Saturday, April 4th, with new executive chef Alina Bothen crafting the menu.
The lineup will include Belgian waffles, three different frittatas, a cheese & rillette plate, two flatbreads, and other brunch staples. Mimosas will be available for $4 and Bloody Marys for $6. Of course, there will be a range of handcrafted brunch cocktails as well.
These range from the El Viejo, with jalapeno tequila, orange, sugar and chocolate mole bitters; and the Pseudonym, with rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, ginger liqueur and orange bitters; to the Peep Show, with gin, Pimms, lemon juice, cucumber, mint and ginger beer; and the Gypsy Eyes, with vodka, Crème de Violette, lemon juice and Prosecco; amongst other libations.
Black’s Bar and Kitchen Unveils New Brunch Menu
Chef Dane Sewlall has changed up the a la carte brunch menu this spring at Bethesda’s Black’s Bar and Kitchen. New menu items include Salmon Hash, with smoked salmon, potato hash, an arugula English pea salad with lemon vinaigrette; Chicken Biscuit, with a cheddar biscuit, buttermilk fried chicken tender, bacon jam and scrambled eggs with aged cheddar; Sour Cream Pancakes, House-made Green Chili Sausage Burrito; and Oyster Benedict, with beer battered oysters, over easy eggs, horseradish choron sauce on a house-made English muffin.
Black’s Bar and Kitchen also offers a buffet brunch, which comes with a full raw bar, hot breakfast items, freshly baked goods from Pastry Chef Melanie Parker, a chef’s carving station and local, organic eggs cooked to order. The buffet with food only is $43 per person, and with unlimited champagne and cocktails, it’s $55 per person.
Since we’re very late in extending our coverage of some of the other new brunches around the district – what was I thinking? – here are a few quick details on brunches that popped up within the past month:
- Casa Luca debuted their new brunch at the end of February. The way to go here is their brunch prix fixe, including an appetizer, an Italian specialty main, and a dessert, along with bottomless drinks for $32. It’s available both Saturday & Sunday at 11am to 3pm.
- Boss Shepherd’s debuted their new jazz brunch on March 1. For $25, choose one starter, one main and two brunch cocktails, and enjoy live entertainment from 11am to 2pm. Signature dishes include fried chicken and waffles, an oyster omelete, brioche French toast, and shrimp & grits.