Tasting Whisky, For Charity
New York - Some 140 whisky enthusiasts descended on a three-storey East Village townhouse last week to taste a curated selection of single malt kosher whiskies — all in the name of charity.
The event, hosted by Select NYC last Thursday evening, was to benefit Belev Echad, a New York-based charity that brings wounded Israeli soldiers on yearly trips to the United States as a gesture of thanks.
Conceptualized over a year ago by Select NYC founders, Michael Feldman and Dan Wasserlauf, the event was originally intended to be a high-end scotch and herring tasting but the organizers decided to go with single malt whiskies and an assortment of carefully selected food pairings.
This was the duo’s debut event.
Around 40 releases from over 20 distilleries were on offer, with an estimated value of US$150 - $350 per bottle. Highlights included the sweet, delicate Balvenie 21, the mature, fruity Aberlour 18, the peat-rich and smoky Lagavulin Distillers Edition, and the powerful, robust Dalmore 18.
Of the Macallans, there was 2017’s light, fruity Edition 3, 2018’s Edition 4 providing a more rich and sweet experience, as well as the bold, full-bodied Classic Cut. Japan’s smooth, vanilla-flavored Yamazaki 12 and spicy, herbal Kurayoshi 18 were also well-received, as was the floral Glenmorangie Signet and Taiwan’s sweet, fruity Kavalan Sherry Oak. Complimentary Glencairn crystal nosing glasses were distributed among guests to enhance both the aromatic and tasting experiences.
“We wanted to cater to people who enjoy whisky but also understand quality,” Feldman said. “Our goal was to eliminate the clutter that similar whisky tastings provide in order to highlight releases that are truly worth experiencing."
Moroccan fish balls, home-made hummus and pita, as well as battered cauliflower bites were some of the hors d’oeuvres cooked up by chef Shira Asias, who specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Artwork by Al Hirschfeld was also on display and available for purchase.
Select NYC hopes to produce more events like this. The next one will feature a curated selection of Bourbons.
Photos 1-4: Courtesy of Michael Scharf Photography/Select NYC; 5-6 Courtesy of Orit Belkin