Two tasteful experiences

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I recently revisited an old friend.  A beautiful decanter style bottle with a cork closure containing an astonishing elixir that I poured into a wine glass. There was some vanilla, a little smokiness, wood, cigar and a touch of sweetness.  It was an extraordinary drink and an experience I can happily enjoy many more times until the last drop is drained from the bottle.   And NO it wasn’t a wine it was an American whiskey. And for those of you with a penchant for Tennessee whiskey and a bank balance that is pretty healthy, have I got some news for you.

Phillip Silverstone’s  “selfie” with his new best friend. Photo courtesy of Phillip Silverstone.

Phillip Silverstone’s “selfie” with his new best friend. Photo courtesy of Phillip Silverstone.

The Jack Daniel’s Distillery is offering  consumers the rare opportunity to purchase an entire barrel of 94-proof Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey. Available in limited quantities, each barrel yields approximately 240 (750ml) decanter-style bottles with a cork closure.  Each bottle bears a neck label with the rick number, barrel number and bottling date.  With the purchase of an entire barrel of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, barrel owners receive the bottled whiskey and the empty barrel in which the whiskey matured, customized neck medallion, a brass plaque and a framed certificate of ownership.  The barrel offer is priced at approximately $10,000.
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel has a complex character and heightened flavors of toasted oak, vanilla and caramel.  According to Jack Daniel’s master distiller Jeff Arnett, each barrel of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey has a subtle difference in nose, color and taste, due to the differences in the new, charred white oak wood used for each barrel, as well as the location of each barrel in the warehouse.  These unique barrels of whiskey rest in selected areas of the warehouse where they receive the greatest exposure to the extreme temperatures of the Tennessee seasons. “Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel is as individual as the oak barrel in which it matures,” explained Arnett on a press release.   “So, we thought it would be appropriate to celebrate the uniqueness of each barrel by offering folks the opportunity to buy a whole barrel for themselves.” More information can be found at www.jackdaniels.com/singlebarrel/BuyBarrel.aspx.
Down by the sea
Last week I decided to steal a couple of days in Cape May with my wife,  for the promise of sea breezes, a new inn experience, some spectacular food and wine and to bring the sun back into our long-winter skies. The best address in Cape May, as far as I’m concerned, is occupied by Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant at 1301 Beach Ave. Cape May, N.J.  (Information at 609-884-9090 or petershieldsinn.com). There is a feeling of small European understated refinement within this 100-year-old property built by architect Lloyd Titus as a summer cottage for the Shields family. The Peter Shields Inn is a Select Registry Romantic Seaside Getaway, with nine beautifully decorated guest rooms, ocean front views that you normally only enjoy on glossy magazine covers and the finest restaurant I’ve ever dined in along the New Jersey coastline. Finally.  This 1907 Georgian Revival mansion, a Bed and Breakfast Diamond Collection boutique inn, is owned by Jeff Gernitis, with executive chef Carl Messick in absolute control of the kitchen and manager Sean Brown keeping the place in impeccable order. The staff are the friendliest I have ever encountered and don’t be surprised if Bridget leaves the front desk and pops into the breakfast room to give you a peck on the cheek.  At 4 p.m. an assortment of cheeses and wines are served, compliments of the inn-keeper, featuring gems from Cape May wineries. You can also enjoy Cape May wines with your dinner or bring in your own wines (no surcharge). My meal was absolutely brilliant: Roasted Beet Salad, Chevre, Arugula, Peppercorn Aioli, Beet Paint ($12). Pan Roasted Scottish Salmon, Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, Pearl Onions Carrot Ribbons, Seasoned Rice, Coconut Froth, Warm Miso Vinaigrette  ($30). Chocolate Lava Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream, Berry Puree ($9).  The dessert alone is worth the drive to Cape May.  Breakfast is amazing and the best room is the one we stayed in, Number 9.  This third floor room has a dormer ceiling, king-size bed, new bath with tile and glass shower and is tucked away down the hall to the Hospitality Room with 24-hour “Complimentary” soft drinks and  snacks.  No prizes for guessing which room we have booked for weekend getaways this summer.  Cheers.
Phillip Silverstone’s column appears each week in Ticket. “Time Out With Phillip Silverstone” is heard  worldwide anywhere and anytime on Tunein Radio. On their app search: Phillip Silverstone or on the web at  http://bit.ly/1kqcRmk. New podcasts are available every Saturday. For more information about Phillip: http://www.thesilverstonecollection.comPhoto

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