Last night, I attended a Whiskey Tasting at Lock and Key in Koreatown. Upon pulling up to Lock and Key, the lack of signage makes you question that you’re in the right place, but the glowing logo confirms that it’s safe to enter the distinct red door. Upon entering, you are greeted by a hostess in a dark room and at least 500 unique doorknobs. You don’t know which doorknob opens to the bar, so there the quest begins. It doesn’t take long for her to point us in the right direction. It is a cool space with dim-lighting and a long bar. We walked to the back patio where the tasting was being held. We were greeted by a friendly staff and a beautiful outside bar. The setting was definitely a pleasant surprise considering its location.
Now, onto the tasting. Most of the selection involved Scotch, not my favorite, but I adapted. The first 3 pours were an interesting selection. The first, No. 3 London Dry Gin to cleanse the palate, was one of my favorites. I enjoy gin and this one tasted crisp and pine-y, almost like Christmas. Next, we tasted The Glenrothes Alba Reserve, one of my boyfriend’s favorites of the evening. With heavy vanilla tasting notes, it was a good introduction to what the evening had in store. My favorite, The Glenrothes 2001, was the last of the first phase of the tasting. I found it to be very drinkable tasting a subtle hints of black cherry and vanilla. During a short break, we were encouraged to enjoy a Hand Rolled Cigar by Naranjo Cigars and the live Jazz performance. The second phase of tastings began with the Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt aged 12 years. With notes of jam, herbs, and vanilla, it was my first run-in with Japanese whiskey. The next was Single Malt Yoichi aged 15 years. Another favorite of mine, I was surprised I enjoyed the nutty flavor and bittersweet finish. Last, but not least, we enjoyed The Glenrothes Select Reserve. After tasting a couple of selections from The Glenrothes, the notes seemed familiar, as if we had come full circle. After the tasting concluded, we were surprised with a cocktail of the mixoligist’s choice. We were given an Old Fashioned featuring the Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt. The sweetness of the whiskey complimented the sugar in the cocktail perfectly, and it was quite enjoyable with my mild cigar.
All in all, I consider the evening a success. We enjoyed the tasting and look forward to returning to Lock and Key to enjoy a summer evening on the back patio with friends.