Thursday, March 22, 2012
Johnny Walker...chic whiskey-tasting soiree a hit with locals! Distiller supports RADD!
The outside exterior of 860 South Los Angeles Street was a pretty drab-looking and uninspiring one - but - once the guests were whisked up to the penthouse suite on the 11th floor that all changed when they were treated to a commanding view of the cityscape beyond.
The understated gallery space at the Cooper Building - discreetly decorated with a smattering of publicity stills promoting Johnny Walker products - was the perfect setting for the distiller to offer up a sampling of their distinctive high-quality brands of whiskey to potential imbibers.
In fact, a seemingly endless line of excited locals streamed into the highly-anticipated event around the dinner hour, anxious to make the scene, sip on an "old-fashioned" on the rocks, nibble on scrumptious finger foods, and mix-and-mingle a tad with a handful of upscale guests with an eye twoards networking a social hub or two.
The pretty models circulating the room were alluring, too.
In addition, a photographer with a keen eye roamed the inviting terrain (anxious to snap publicity stills) with the specific aim of uploading the candid shots to Johnny Walker's Facebook page.
There were quite a few takers!
Since I am undergoing dental work - and am currently blessed with an unfortunate gap in my smile up-front - I was forced to beg off, though.
I also spied a posse of humble down-to-earth folks on-hand, anxious to lift up an arm, and toss back a freebie shot of whiskey (or two or three????).
The affable host - a rotund, articulate fellow with a great sense of humor - walked the effervescent by-invitation-only guests through the whiskey sampling in the main room after focusing on at least four brands of Johnny Walker offerings.
To think - that for all these years - I was under the impression that the only difference between the brands (black, red, blue, gold) was the color of the label on the face of the ubiquitous square bottles on display at the local cocktail bar!
After an entertaining promotion (which included a delightful film clip on distillery founder John Walker) the representative schooled (and thus educated) the lot of us on the specifics about how to discern a "fine" aged whiskey - at which point - we found ourselves sniffing, sipping, and savoring the samples "neat", "on ice", or stirred (not shaken) with thirst-quenching chasers such as ginger ale and what-have-you.
At my perch front-row-center the whiskey went down pretty smoothly, I assure 'ya.
And, all the guests were encouraged to boast about their experience online, too.
For example, normally invitees to functions such as these are instructed to turn off their cell phones and all the distracting high-tech communication devices humming away (and eerily lighting up) in the room.
In this instant case, the Johnny Walker salesman urged everyone to text or tweet about the Johnny Walker upbeat par-tay, pronto.
"Make sure everyone knows how lucky you are to be here tonight at this whiskey-tasting event," he chuckled, as the audience roared in approval (and continued to peck away at their instruments of choice nearby).
A good time was had by all, you betcha, folks!
By the way, in the event a guest or two were too tipsy at the end of the night to get behind the wheel, the warm and fuzzy individuals were encouraged to stroll over and arrange a ride home with the sponsors from RADD.
RADD (supported by musical artists such as ZZ top, Black-eyed Peas, Melissa Etheridge, Lady Antebellum, Justin Timberlake, and Sugarland, to name a few) is the "entertainment industry's voice for road safety".
The non-profit is dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries through "Edutainment" according to the supportive reps on hand.
The Internationally-recognized corporation (formed in 1986) pairs athletes, media partners, and socially-conscious individuals to create positive attitudes about road safety (drinking and driving habits) with the ultimate aim of fostering change that saves lives.
By the way, keep an eye out on Facebook for the next tony event tossed by Johnny Walker, eh?