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DeRushaEats: Taking A Whisky Class


I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about wine. And beer. And gin.

I mean, I know other things too, but you know, I know those things really well.

But I don't know anything about the brown liquors. I always enjoyed cocktails with whisky and bourbon when I had them at Town Talk Diner or Bradstreet Crafthouse. But I felt ignorant about it.

My wife Alyssa stepped in to fill the gap. For Father's Day, she bought me a whisky class at France 44 Wine & Cheese shop in Minneapolis. Last night we went to "A World of Whiskies."

We learned the difference between whisky, bourbon, and scotch (single malt whisky is made from barley from one source, bourbon is 51% corn, and Scotch is made in Scotland). Instructor Matt Fisher dropped wisdom like: "As soon as it hits your tongue, the level of 'Holy Crap!' is the body."

We tasted an unoaked whisky from Wisconsin (Death's Door White Whisky - $34), a wonderful Single Malt Irish Whisky by Michael Collins (really tasting of caramel - $40), and a great bargain Canadian Whisky called Forty Creek Barrel Select ($20). In all, we tried eight different 1 ounce pours of whisky. It was fantastic. So interesting to taste the differences in finish, in spice, and in woody flavor.

The instructor was great, and we went home with the Michael Collins and the Forty Creek (you get 10% off when you take a class). It was super laid-back, people asked a ton of questions, and I feel like I'm a little more knowledgable about the brown liquor.

France 44 puts their class schedule online every month. It costs $30 a person, and was well worth it for the chance to taste some really high-end whisky.

France 44
4351 France Ave S. Mpls

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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