As you may have noticed, I go to a lot of events in Chicago. Fittingly, I have decided to start an installment called “Take me Out” for the different events that I attend. This Johnnie Walker event – the House of Walker – is the first of many in the installation.
When I actually entered the event space, the first stop on our journey was a scotch tasting of the Black Label Johnnie Walker. This was put on by Stephen Wilson, the US Brand Ambassador, who I must say was very enthusiastic and overall awesome with his scotch knowledge (which was a given) he was great. He was my favorite part of the event – this should be an indicator to you that the favorite part of the event was within the first 20 mins.
There was also a short advertising video which I enjoyed. I think the initial tasting part of the event was done so well. It captivated the audience and really kept everyone engaged. I learned different ways to drink my scotch and found the exact way in which I liked the drink. I thought this part was so helpful and a great segue in to the rest of the event.
After our initial tasting my friends and I made our way in to the first tasting room, the Red Label room. Drinks were mixed by the famed Sable Kitchen & Bar of Chicago mixologist as pictured above. His drinks were absolutely great. I, myself, tried the Red Label and ginger beer, but I also sampled my friends drink which was a take on an Old Fashioned. Let me just say, it was quite potent and delicious.
*If you haven’t checked out Sable Kitchen & Bar, I highly recommend it not only for the drinks but for the food as well.
The house was incredible from what I saw, it’s a shame they didn’t allow us to see more of it, but the decor was awesome. I had read about how cool the event space was supposed to be, but most of it was blocked off. I think the event could have been more interesting if they also offered tours of the house. Since it’s supposed to be the “House of Walker” I think that could have been a good aspect to incorporate instead of being stuck in one small area of the house.
We spent most of our time in the “red room” because that’s where the most space was. At each bar you would swipe the card you were given to keep a tab on your drinks. (Cards generously provided by UrbanDaddy)
Our Urban Daddy card for the night entitled us to a drink at each bar; the Red Label, Black Label, Double Black Label & Blue Label. This is the sampling I got of the most elite Johnnie Walker scotch – the Blue Label. In my opinion, the Blue Label was not worth the retail it’s marked at. It tasted pretty good, but didn’t seem like anything special. Maybe I don’t have a complex enough palette to understand it, but I know I was not alone in my feelings on this.
Our final drink, which was my favorite of the night, was the Johnnie Walker Black Label. This was also our first drink of the night at the tasting with Stephen Wilson. I took mine on ice and loved it. As my friend Beth stated, “I feel like Don Draper,” but seriously I did.
Overall, I think the event was worth attending and the drinks were delicious. Unfortunately, the crowd that was in attendance was not my favorite. The crowd was super unfriendly and there wasn’t a great opportunity to network which I am typically accustomed to. In addition to this, the people who were working the event were also quite snobby. Aside from the US Brand Ambassador that did the tasting, I did not enjoy anyone else that worked the event. I am used to being at really friendly events meant for mingling and making friends, but this one was not one of them. Johnnie Walker at least tried to be interactive, but I don’t think they got the right turn out for the event to get the interactive results they expected.
The event was marketed by both Urban Daddy and Time Out Chicago. I usually find events on Time Out Chicago which end up having a super friendly crowd, but this was quite the opposite. By the time the event had been posted on Time Out most of the reservation times had been booked. It was the first event I had attended from Urban Daddy, so maybe that is a testament to the kind of people to expect at those events.
Hope you guys enjoyed hearing about the House of Walker!