Whiskey tasting, kilt wearing at JulioĂ˘€™s Liquors
Westborough – Motorists passing by Julio’s Liquors Oct. 20 thinking they saw men in skirts entering and exiting the store, need not worry, they did. The popular spirit shop was hosting a kilt night and whiskey tasting.
The idea was the product of Julio’s Liquors owner Ryan Maloney.
“Well, we knew we were having two whiskey tastings back-to-back,” Maloney explained. “We had Laphroaig and Ardmore [scotch whiskey Oct. 20] and Four Roses [bourbon whiskey Oct. 21]. We decided to make the Laphroaig and Ardmore whiskey tasting an all-Scottish night and the Four Roses night a bourbon and barbecue night.
“With the Laphroaig and Ardmore tastings I knew that Simon Brooking [North American Ambassador of Laphroaig and Ardmore] and Alistair Longwell [distillery manager for Ardmore Distillery] were going to wear their kilts so I just decided to call it a kilt night and invite everyone who wanted to wear their kilt to the tasting,” Maloney explained.
Both tastings were sponsored by the Loch and K(e)y Society, a whiskey support group of sorts run by Maloney and Julio’s Liquors.
“The Loch and K(e)y Society has their own tartan [pattern],” Maloney said. “We came up with it for our recent trip to Scotland to pick out our single barrel of scotch whiskey.”
Maloney said about 15 of the more than 350 Loch and K(e)y Society members own kilts and about eight wore theirs on kilt night.
“We’re always trying to come up with something just a little bit different,” Maloney said.
To round out the tastings, both nights featured food. The kilt night food was all Scottish fare and prepared by Brad Jarvis, a member of the Loch and K(e)y Society and Julio’s Liquors employee.
For the event Jarvis prepared a curry-lentil soup, cottage pie with clapshot (a mix of potatoes and turnip) and bread pudding that came complete with an Ardmore whiskey hardsauce that was poured over the pudding.
“One of the things the Loch and K(e)y Society is trying to do since its trip to Scotland is dispel the notion that Scottish food is boring and bland and doesn’t taste very well,” Maloney said. “When we were there we feasted on duck, venison, lamb, salmon, highland beef and haggis steak. I think everyone who went on the trip gained about five pounds by the time they got back.”
After devouring Jarvis’s exquisitely prepared meal, those on hand for the tasting gathered around Brooking and Longwell for a night of tasting and toasting.
Both Brooking and Longwell showed the group of about 25 varied ways that whiskey can be sampled and smelled, and how the whiskey will have a different taste depending upon where on the tongue (the tip or more to the middle) you place the whiskey. Both men also shared several witty and whimsical toasts as well.
The Four Roses Bourbon and Barbecue tasting featured food from the Texas BBQ Co., located on Main Street in Northborough.
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