The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2011

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Page 76 of 128

Rockin' with 'toshan MAKING THE AUCHENTOSHAN SWITCH by Deborah Parker Wong C ombine 19 of the nation's most inspired bartenders, three exacting judges and Auchentoshan Three Wood Whisky with three rounds of heated mixing. Serve up with a two-week trip to London for a stint with Tony Conigliaro at his famed 69 Colebrooke Row bar and Drinks Factory and watch the ice fly. Competition winner Charles Joly of Chicago's Drawing Room. Seventeen finalists gave their undivided attention to Charles Joly of The Drawing Room in Chicago and Clinton Terry from PX in Alexandria, VA, who went head to head in Las Vegas in the final oratory bout of a demanding three-round competition to determine who would be the man to make the Auchentoshan Switch. Joly prevailed with an eloquent portrait of the Gallic origins, styles and colloquial jargon associated with Scotch whisky and the production methods used in crafting Auchentoshan Three Wood. "We're in the second Golden Age of cocktail culture, and we're lucky enough to be conscious of it," said Joly during an after party held in celebration of his win at the sleek Cosmopolitan hotel. "Competitions of this caliber forward our craft," continued Joly who is a career bartender and serves as the Vice President of the Illinois chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild. "As mentors and educators, it's essential that we live in the moment without losing sight of customer service which is our first priority as professionals." This wickedly elaborate competition was nine months in the planning and began with a pre-quali- fying round that required contestants to make video entries of them selves crafting lemonade and an Old Fashioned with Auchentoshan Three Wood. Twenty contestants, some of whom were first-time competi- tors, were chosen from cities around the U.S. and flown to Las Vegas to compete. The House of Blues at Mandalay Bay provided a theatrical backdrop for what qualified as no less than a mixology marathon. First-round cocktails demonstrated difficult levels of execution and showcased hand-crafted ingredients that included barrel-aged coffee, fresh pumpkin juice and Nicaraguan-cigar tea. 76 / the tasting panel / december 201 1 PHOTO: LUSH LIFE PRODUCTIONS

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