In celebration of Brandon's 4 years and counting of working at Lawline, the company sent him to a master class on "Whiskey, Scotch and Bourbon" at the Institute of Culinary Education ("ICE") and I was lucky enough to go along for the ride. We thought we were in for a night of hard drinking, and while many varieties of whiskey were consumed, we were not expecting to learn as much as we did about the history of whiskey and alcohol.
The course was taught by Jeffrey Pagash, who described himself as a marketing consultant to whiskey companies by day and by night a teacher who enlightens consumers that the marketing messages are hogwash and that we do not need to overpay for a good glass of whiskey. We first learned that Whiskey was likely created in Ireland, and then spread to Scotland and England. Pagash taught us the detailed creation process beginning with fermented grains which transform into beer and then through distillation and aging in casks becomes the whiskey we drink. We were pleased when Pagash told us that whiskey should never burn in your throat, and that you should add enough water to the drink until there is no burn. At that point, we began to taste the rich flavors including honey, butterscotch, vanilla, caramel and chocolate. Most importantly, we had a lot of fun.