For my first trip to The Alex Cocktail Bar and Speakeasy at The Graham Georgetown, Washington, D.C. (photo below from Jos. A. Magnus & Co.), I was invited to "an exclusive VIP and media access reception" with Master Blender, Nancy “the nose” Fraley.
Jos. A. Magnus & Co., a local D.C. distillery, was celebrating their Murray Hill Club Special Release. Finished in Pineau des Charentes casks, Jos. A. Magnus & Co. had this party with a spirits tasting of their bottles, as well as speciality cocktails made with Murray Hill Club Special Release. From the distiller: "Murray Hill Club finished in Pineau des Charentes casks: an elegant, harmonious whiskey that offers the notes from our 9 to 18-year blended bourbon, along with subtle aged Cognac and grape juice aromas derived from the Pineau des Charentes casks, with the fruitiness of prune, dried apricot, and golden raisins; orange blossom honey, marzipan, cocoa nibs, toasted coconut shavings, toffee, and coffee cake."
This Special Edition is 56% alcohol by volume and 112 proof. Retail price is $149.
Of the two Specialty Cocktails offered, I enjoyed the "The Code" most. Made with Magnus Vodka, Aalborg Aquavit, Hibiscus and Cardamom, the drink was sweet but not too sweet. And fresh. The other was "Martinez" made with Magnus Vigilant Gin, Luxardo Maraschino, Dolin Rouge and Bitters. I did not try that one because I moved on to the tasting, which was delightful, but I heard the drink was maybe a tad more bitter than would be desired. Hearsay ...
I had a great time starting my weekend right with the Jos. A. Magnus group. Many thanks to the team for this great event -- and for Nancy for autographing a special bottle for a very special couple! It really made for a great engagement gift!