An Evening of Whisky Delight | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

An Evening of Whisky Delight

An Evening of Whisky Delight

Report from the John Milroy Selection tasting in Washington, DC

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I recently attended a tasting of 13 whiskies from the John Milroy Selection brand of independently-labeled, single cask, single malt Scotch whiskies.

The tasting was held at the Jack Rose Dining Saloon in the District of Columbia under the auspices of John Milroy Selections’ importer, Spirit Imports, a family-run company with a solid history of bringing distilled spirits to the American market. Representing the company was its president and founder (and landsman) Alan Shayne and his daughters Gabby and Lauren. 

While events like this are always fun, I especially enjoyed this one for several reasons. 

The first element that made this evening enjoyable was the setting. The Jack Rose Dining Saloon is a must-visit whiskey bar. Since it opened in 2011, Jack Rose has amassed more than 2,700 whiskies, making it, according to a recent Washingtonian magazine article, “the largest collection in the Western Hemisphere.” I don’t often have occasion to write about Jack Rose, but anyone who enjoys drinking great whiskey out of the house in a saloon setting should check this place out.

Another element making the event great was the people there — not just the usual crowd of my fellow Jack Rose whiskey-geek peeps. Whiskey industry hero Ronnie Cox — of Berry Bros & Rudd which owns the John Milroy Selections brand and chooses the whiskies bottled under its label — was there. Spending time with the Shaynes and with Cox would make any evening a success — much less a boozy single cask, single malt one.

Last though not least, these John Milroy Selection whiskies are super, and they make a nice addition not only to the Jack Rose collection, but also to the U.S. consumer market.

Under this label, consumers should expect to find fabulous single cask, single malt Scotch whiskies from all across Scotland. While one certainly pays for the privilege, the pricing of the John Milroy Selections is very reasonable for whiskies of this general rarity and caliber of quality. Those who know their modern Scotch whisky history would expect no less from any whisky associated with John Milroy.

It was brothers John (better known as Jack) and Wallace Milroy who got the single malt ball properly rolling in the United Kingdom back in the 1960s via their shop, Milroy’s of Soho which is still located at No. 3 Greek Street in London.

Wallace, who died last year, was also the author of the then-popular Wallace Milroy’s Malt Whisky Almanac pocket guides. There were seven editions which collectively sold more than 350,000 copies around the world.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Milroy brothers helped make single malts a thing in the United Kingdom in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and then a little later in Japan.

All of which is long way of saying I really enjoyed myself with these wonderful whiskies. So seek out some John Milroy Selection whiskies for yourself. 

Consider this gem:
The John Milroy Selection, Aultmore 10 year old (55.7 percent abv; $95.99): This fabulous dram offers inviting, even absorbing, aromas and flavors of citrus, malt, and caramel, some lovely licorice undertones, a bit of spice, and an overall charming complexity, ending in a rich and smooth finish. It is delicious and not to be missed if you can help it. L’chaim!

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