Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

Luxury Whiskey Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

By: Apr. 03, 2024
Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill
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Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

I recently had the pleasure to attend the Luxury Whiskey tasting class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill, a monthly event with rotating expressions, taught by whiskey sommelier Sarah Valvo. 

Valvo, who is The Flatiron Room’s Marketing Manager, once started at the company as a server in the NoMad location before her passion for whiskey moved her to a bartender, floor manager, and now teacher.

Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

Each whiskey tasting is always different from the next. Valvo researches and determines what hasn't been done yet and what she is interested in learning and teaching herself. This particular evening was all about luxury whiskies, showcasing rare and limited varieties that Valvo and her team classify as “single ingredient cocktails” that don't require anything but a solid pour in a nice glass.

Our Friday evening kicked off in the restaurant's private space in the back where we were first treated to a Rusty Nail cocktail made with Monkey Shoulder whiskey, Drambuie, and lemon, which Valvo said was there to help cleanse the palette and get us ready for the variety of whiskey we will be tasting. 

Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

We also enjoyed a light snack platter of cheese and toasted bread, grapes, and dried fruit along with a complimentary signature water dropper to dilute (and later take home) the whiskey if we choose to ease the intensity of the flavor. We also learned how to properly use it, too — twisting it in our fingers just slightly to release enough drops of water without pouring too much into our glasses.

For the next hour and a half, we were treated to six different varieties starting with the Yamazaki 12yr, which has been a favorite of mine for years after one of my best friends and I started dabbling into Japanese whiskies. This particular expression is easy to drink thanks to its mix of tropical fruit and smooth sweetness with just a hint of spice on the palate that offers a zesty finish. 

Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

Next, we were onto the Westland Single Malt which comes from an American Single Malt Whiskey distillery in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle. I had not heard of this distillery before and was excited to try something from that area. On the nose, there was an aroma of custard and maple while the palate brought out more of a nutty almond a touch of black tea.

The third expression was from a more well-known distiller, at least to everyone in the class: Macallan Harmony Collection Intense Arabica, inspired by the Ethiopian Arabica bean. In typical Macallan fashion, this whisky went down easy with its oaky sweetness and as Valvo stated, makes for an interesting coffee and whisky pairing, but it wasn’t necessarily the stand out of the night.

Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

The Compass Box Menagerie was the fourth on the list and a surprise to the senses in the best possible way. Its notes of apricot and peach were all very light and gentle but the taste held a strong peaty, bandaid flavor that made for a unique combo most (including myself) seemed to enjoy.

As the fifth expression on the list, the Kentucky Owl Bourbon St. Patrick’s Edition felt reminiscent of how the Woodford was for me. Its notes of honey and spice are paired with citrus and orange on the palate were are lovely and enjoyable but don’t stand out like some of the others on the list.

The most notable expression that night was the very last offering: the Willett Private Barrel 10yr Family Estate Bourbon, The Flatiron Room’s very own expression. It's a classic bourbon with caramel, oak, and vanilla being both on the nose and the palate, but it is super smooth and lush so it can be enjoyed by many.

According to Valvo, the Willett (barrel 2104) was picked in June of 2023 and was later available in October of 2023. It's aged a minimum of 10 years with a mash bill of 79% corn, 7% rye, and 14% malt. This single barrel is one of 154 available with a barrel-proof ABV of 60.9%.

Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

The Flatiron Room is one of the top whiskey destinations in the city with well over a thousand varieties available, making its collection not only the largest in New York but also in the Northeast. If you’re interested in not only having a rare whiskey you may not get elsewhere but also learning about it, this is the place for you. For more information on The Flatiron Room's whiskey classes, check out the schedule here.

Luxury Whiskey Tasting Class at The Flatiron Room Murray Hill

The Flatiron Room Murray Hill is located at 9 E 37th St, New York, NY 10016. For menus, hours of operation, class info, and contact, please visit https://theflatironroom.com/murray-hill-home/.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Flatiron Room and Carissa Chesanek



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