by Julia Thiel
I don't know whether same would hold true for whiskey, which is much stronger in flavor (though the shape of vessel can certainly affect the smell, which is a big part of taste)—but given the number of people at the reception, trying it from different cups it wouldn't have been very practical anyway. Though there was whiskey to be had: Koval Distillery, which is located just up the street, was there offering samples. My favorite was the 47th Ward, a single-barrel overproof whiskey I've had before. Made from rye, wheat, oat, and malted barley, it smells a lot like honey and, at 94 proof, has a strong alcohol burn, but a little water smooths it out and makes it open up beautifully.
After we'd had our fill of art we headed over to the Fountainhead. It turned out that brand ambassador Kyle McHugh was giving out samples of the new Bulleit 10, which I've been reading about for a while (I also recently received a sample in the mail). Aged in the barrel for ten years rather than Bulleit's usual six, the bourbon is oaky, with strong vanilla notes, and spicy, both from the rye and the slightly higher proof. I liked it, but I'm not sure it's worth the price increase over regular Bulleit; there are better bourbons out there for $45 a bottle.
Below are photos of some of my favorite pieces from the exhibit. (I also love the bottles in the photo above, by Ben Bates, but I somehow neglected to take a close-up of them. Photos of all the pieces in the show are available on Lillstreet's website.)
Through 3/1, Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N. Ravenswood, 773-769-4226