“The proof is in the pudding” is an age-old proverb stemming from 14th century England. Back then, the “pudding” wasn’t made of chocolate or tapioca…it actually referred to sausage, similar to what black pudding (sausage) is today. With whiskey, I find that proof is more in the putting…as in I want to be putting hundreds of various-proof whiskeys across my palate in the spirit of flavor exploration.
One of the best ways to do this is to attend a well-curated whiskey event, and lucky for us, O.C.’s most beloved booze emporium, Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, is hosting a two-hundred-plus whiskey event called Proof, from 2 to 5 p.m. June 2 at the Westside Museum in Costa Mesa.
With such a varied list, the hardest part for me is finding some sort of tasting strategy. Do I want to geek out on Scotch? Taste through the bourbon trail? Maybe try all the Japan and India whiskeys I haven’t tried? Maybe just play it by ear?
One thing’s for sure, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed at such an event. Even for the seasoned professional, it’s easy to imbibe too heavily and make a mess of the afternoon. My tip is to sniff, swish, and spit…saving the swallows for only the things that invoke goosebumps. Dumping the rest of your glass isn’t rude! Drink water at every opportunity, and don’t show up on an empty stomach. The event will have passed snacks and classic cocktails from various talented bartenders, but as palate fatigue can kick in quickly, be sure to mix it up…after all, the proof is in the pudding!
Tickets are $100, and although the VIP tickets are sold out, I find plenty of highly rated whiskeys to explore on the general admission ticket. Hope to see you there!
Visit hitimewine.net/proof for more info.