Don't Call It Peppery

Everybody knows how to attend a wine tasting: You stand there, sip, murmur thoughtfully, sip, nod expansively, sip, agree with whatever the hell people seem to be saying, swipe a bottle, and get the hell out. A whisky tasting is different, because the whisky industry, unlike the wine industry, hasn't tried to bury the drinker under a barrage of bottles, vintages, blends, varieties, notes, aromas, and wine snobs and criminals, all of which cause the average drinker to feel there is a conspiracy of grapes going on, which there is. Suck it, Wine Spectator! A Single-Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting with Mark Stewart Cassidy is very different. It concerns itself with just one thing, single malt, which is headquartered in one place, Scotland. It's easy to wrap your head around, even after whisky. Cassidy, an old hand at dispensing whisky, brings along his favorite bottles, runs down the whisky regions — Speyside, Highland, Campbeltown, Islay, Islands, and Lowland — then starts sliding the glasses across the table. And because it's San Francisco, one of them will be organic.
Thu., Sept. 2, 6 p.m., 2010

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