I don’t always drink whiskey. But when I do, I prefer to do it in an establishment that knows how to serve it, how to talk about it, and how to make me feel like I know how to talk about it.
Good thing I live in a town where there’s McCarthy’s.
People may not be aware, but San Luis Obispo is home to the No. 1 selling establishment, per capita, of Jameson Irish Whiskey in the nation. That’s right. The nation. And it’s all thanks to the hard work of your friends at McCarthy’s Irish Pub, SLO’s very own slice of the Emerald Isle.
SLO locals like to pride themselves on their knowledge of good Irish whiskey, but what they don’t know might surprise them. For instance, what’s the difference in quality between the 12-year gold and the 18-year? Why is Jameson triple-distilled? Is this an occasion for shots, or do you go on the rocks?
These are the things in life you have to think about. And the McCarthy’s staff is here to show you how.
If you’re reading this on Sept. 5, then it’s not too late. For tonight, McCarthy’s will play host to Anne Sheeran, the Jameson Brand Ambassador for the West Coast. Not only is she “fresh off the boat” from her native Greystones, Ireland, but she’s a specialist in all things Irish whiskey, having trained at the Jameson distillery in Dublin. And she’s willing to share her expertise with you.
The event kicks off at 7 p.m., when Sheeran will run through a 30-minute-or-so seminar on the history of Jameson whiskey, what sets that brand (that SLO is so obviously fond of) apart from other Irish whiskeys, and how to drink whiskey with class.
McCarthy’s long-time manager—and past recipient of the highest honor to be bestowed upon a local slinger of suds, the New Times readers’ poll’s Best Bartender category—the esteemed Colin Wenzl, thought up the idea as a way to introduce the drink to people who haven’t been acquainted with uisce beatha, which literally translates to “water of life” in Gaelic. See, bet you didn’t know that. You’re welcome.
“Basically, Colin is the godfather of Jameson over there,” LeAnna Darr, a spirits specialist with Southwest Spirits, McCarthy’s Jameson distributor, told New Times. “And we thought it was just perfect timing for this, with the students coming back to town. We wanted to do something to get them excited, and to teach them how to appreciate a good whiskey.”
Ten dollars covers the tasting. For more information, stop 600 Marsh St. in SLO, or give McCarthy’s a ring at 544-0268.
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