The Whiskey Renaissance is here to stay. At least, according to Tommy Tardie, self-made malt guru and owner of Manhattan’s The Flatiron Room. Recognized as one of the most authoritative of New York’s flourishing whiskey bars, The Flatiron Room is just another piece of the “big whiskey puzzle.”
Enter the Flatiron Room through a velvet curtain, revealing a jazz and whiskey lover’s paradise where you can sit back and relax like its 1935. With great whiskey comes great responsibility, and the Flatiron Room has undoubtedly risen to the occasion. Whether you prefer channeling your inner Faulkner with a classic Mint Julip, entertaining clients with your favorite bottle of scotch or exploring a flight of fine whiskeys, the Flatiron Room is the place to do so.
The Flatiron Room opened with an impressive menu of 300 different spirits. After just two years in business, it boasts a remarkable selection of over 1000 luxury whiskeys, bourbons, ryes, and scotches from around the world.
But it’s not just the booze that travels far and wide for a seat at the Flatiron Room.
Impressed by the Japanese bar scene where customers are often encouraged to purchase bottles to stock for their guests, Tardie wondered if a similar “bottle keep” system could work in New York. 2000 sold bottles later, it’s safe to say that New Yorkers are pleased with this leap of faith.
But okay, let’s cut to the chase: How and what should I be drinking when it comes to whiskey?
Tardie considers himself to be a promiscuous whiskey drinker, preferring richer malts and heavily sherried Islay whiskeys in the colder months, and lighter bourbons, Japanese whiskeys and Highland scotches in the summer. But there isn’t one great whiskey, and there isn’t one right way to enjoy a good one.
Here are a few Tardie’s words of whiskey wisdom to get you started:
- Don’t judge whiskey by a bad night you had in college.
- If it’s poured to you in a shot glass just drink it, and drink it quick; it’s probably not meant to be savored.
- One whiskey is not all whiskeys; As long as you like liquor, the Flatiron Room’s expertly trained staff will find a whiskey for you.
- Whiskeys can be paired with food just as well as wines, but not all whiskey goes well with all food.
- Tomatoes do not go well with whiskey.
- Whiskey exasperates spice; if you’re on the fence about spicy food, don’t mix it with whiskey.
- Chocolate pairs well with bourbons, while seafood dishes go well with Islay malts.
- There’s nothing wrong with putting water in your whiskey. In fact, a few drops of water release the aromatics in certain whiskeys, allowing you to experience more layers of flavor.
- Ice has the opposite effect, contracting the aromatics. If you’re going to take your drink on the rocks, remove the ice after a few minutes to avoid dilution.
- Luxury whiskey requires sensory exploration. Look at the bottle, examine the color, take time to appreciate the aromatics that it’s giving off, taste it, swirl it around your mouth, swallow and acknowledge the beauty of the finish, focusing on the way the layers of complexity react with your entire palate.