The classic-cocktail boom, especially whiskey-based drinks, has taken hold in bars all over Denver, and on Wednesday, June 19, at 6:30 p.m., Central Bistro & Bar will raise a toast to the global brown spirit that's become a habitual pastime for barflies. Deemed "The Evolution of Bourbon," the class, led by Heaven Hill's Ambassador of North American Whiskey, Bernie Lubbers (aka "The Whiskey Professor," who also happens to be a standup comedian) is $25 per person and includes tastings of six different styles of whiskey, plus an appetizer plate and tasting notes. "This is an all-sensory experience where guests will feel, smell, hear, see and taste the history of bourbon as it's evolved from the 1700s to now, trying styles as they've changed throughout the centuries," says Seth Murty, general manager of Central.
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And that whiskey event is just the first in a series of "Whiskey Wednesdays" at Central. Every Wednesday thereafter, beginning at 6:30, the bar will host an American whiskey distiller or ambassador and serve flights for $5, give or take a dollar, per person. "The distiller of the week will discuss the history of their particular whiskey, the process and what to look for in the flavor profile of each style in the flight," explains Murty.
In addition, the crafty Central bartenders have compiled a "whiskey book" -- a leather-bound listacle of the more than 100 bottles of American-made whiskey that the restaurant stashes behind the bar; the whiskey book, arranged in alphabetical order by state and by mash bill -- the balance of corn and rye -- is handed out by request and includes a lengthy syllabus of flights sorted by distiller or mash bill, as well as an extensive glossary of whiskey terms, verbiage about the history of whiskey, and old-school whiskey ads culled from vintage Playboy magazines.
Central Bistro is also hosting an ongoing "Whiskey Club," which allows you to purchase a bottle of whiskey from the bar's existing selection; in return, you'll get a custom-stamped metal band with your name and the date the bottle was opened. It's stored in a private locker, and every time you come in for dinner and access your stash of whiskey, you'll receive 10 percent off your bill.
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Cheers to that -- and cheers to whiskey.