Last week, we were invited to a special master class about the art and tradition of whiskey serving called Masters of American Whiskey. The two-day programme was organized by the three whiskey brands: Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve and Gentleman Jack. They created a unique course and competition to teach German bartenders about the art of whiskey.
For us non-bartenders, it was exciting and educational to deep-dive on such a specific topic. but for the 60 young bartenders who attended the event, it was serious business. Luckily for us, it felt merely like observing a final test of a big exam, whilst casually sipping on barrel-aged libations.
From the history of whiskey making to the ins and out of crafting good whiskey cocktails, we learned about the depth of history of this classic liquor and breadth of its aromatic qualities. The location of the event was atmospheric, to say the least- an old manor house from the 18th century, situated on a lake, just a bit outside Berlin- there was lots of prussian flair going on.
Below we gathered some insights from the whiskey master class and photographic impression from the event.
Many bartenders and drink-lovers think that there is a set of rules you have to follow to create the perfect drink or the perfect taste of a single malt serving. But, this is often not true and many “rules” are, well…bullshit. For example, some bartenders claim that you should not hold the glass with ice in your hand while pouring a drink in it to not let the ice melt. This is a total exaggeration since glass is a strong natural insulator for heat.
Finally, what lasted in our minds was one ultimate rule: you have to question the masters to become a master yourself. Of course, experienced bartenders are a great inspiration. But they aren’t infallible gods. So, try out for yourself what makes a good whiskey drink rather than let only the expert decide what is right and wrong.
all photos: Jacob Schickler