Japanese Whiskey Night at Seven Grand
The hidden world of Seven Grand's Bar Jackalope
One of the most popular whiskey bars in Los Angeles, Seven Grand, has started a new tradition in the form of their “Friday Night Flights”. Constructed and led by spirit guide Pedro Shanahan, the experience takes place in Seven Grand’s little known “Bar Jackalope”. Reservations are required and space is limited, but the experience is classy from start to finish.
To get into bar jackalope, you must be buzzed in. In an almost prohibition-style setting, the host hesitantly opens the hidden door and welcomes guests by asking for a reservation name. Although not a contemporary style of greeting, it sets the mood for the rest of the evening. Pedro starts the session by serving guests a glass of the bar’s pre-mixed Old Fashioned blend. Each guest can drink at their own pace, without being rushed. There are several small tables scattered across the bar area and a balcony available for those who need a smoke break. We opted to stand at the bar and speak with Pedro, while enjoying our Old Fashioned. Pedro was happy to speak with us and explain how the idea came about. He was open for suggestions on what his future whiskey flights should include.
After finishing our drinks, we were ready for Pedro to take us through the tasting line-up. It was a combination Japanese whiskey, including the Hibiki 17, Yamazaki 18, Yoichi 15, and Nikka Coffey Malt. The Hibiki 17 and the Nikka Coffey Malt are both blends, while the Yamazaki and Yoichi are tradition single malts. Each tasting included an educated explanation of the history of the bottle and the distillery. Pedro was also open to any questions that we had along the way.
Yamazaki 18 was the winner in our books. With a powerful and robust peated nose and palate, it packed a punch and tasted like a Bowmore-Laphroig hybrid. The finish did not linger, which is a positive feature for those new to peated whiskey. To be fair, all of the malts that were presented tasted extraordinary and took us by surprise. The Japanese have nearly perfected their take on single malts and blends and can easily equate to Scottish whiskey.
We look forward to our next Bar Jackalope experience and thank Pedro for being a gracious and knowledgeable host.