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smokinjoe
05-15-2008, 14:29
I just received an email regarding a series of bourbon tastings to be held over the next several months at Morton's Steakhouse locations thoughout the country. There's not a lot of info on their website regarding details, though it may be involved with Beam. See http://mortons.com/show_promo.php?id=Bourbon for details.

I'll be contacting them for details. Will forward when I hear something

JOE

wadewood
05-15-2008, 17:23
I'd be interested in seeing who is their "expert" and what they are pouring. If looks decent, I'll be going to event in Houston.

barturtle
05-15-2008, 17:52
I'd be interested in seeing who is their "expert" and what they are pouring. If looks decent, I'll be going to event in Houston.

Well...I'm available, if they're looking for someone to host the tastings...

bigtoys
05-15-2008, 22:22
unbelievable. the one in my local Morton's is the one week I'm on call this summer.

felthove
05-16-2008, 00:27
I cannot help but think that we all drink better stuff for much less cost than what will be offered in this tour...

cigarnv
05-16-2008, 04:44
In the past Morton's has not done a great job with the wine, cigar and spirits events, at least in the DC area.

NeoTexan
05-16-2008, 10:04
Here's the reply I got:

Thank you for your interest in our Bourbon event. Our event is August 14th from 6PM - 7:30PM and the cost is $45 per guest. We will be serving appetizers and the following drinks: Knob Creek Mint Julep, Baker's Washington Apple Booker's Manhattan, Basil Hayden's Southern Citrus Smash.
The Whiskey Professor, Bernie Lubbers, will talk about 'Bourbon...The Journey from Barrell to Bottle.'
I am attaching the Whiskey Professors Bio for your review.


Bernie Lubbers is a true Kentucky gentleman with

unmatched charisma for bourbon, a sense of humor and a bottle of Knob Creek on him at all times.

Born and raised in Louisville, Ky. – the home of bourbon – Bernie grew up
around the family business of beer brewing. A former comedian and star of his own one-man play, he is entertaining, and he can also tell you more about bourbon than you ever thought you could know.
While performing at Comedy Off-Broadway in Lexington, Ky., Bernie was
discovered, but not by a Hollywood agent. Rather, he befriended a man who worked for Beam Global Spirits & Wine, who was aware of a newly created position within the company for someone to travel the country and teach consumers about bourbon – specifically small batch bourbon. With his Kentucky roots, quick wit and passion for the liquor industry, Bernie seemed an ideal candidate.
The folks who were hiring – including Fred Noe, son of Booker Noe, who created the small batch bourbon category – wholeheartedly agreed.
Bernie underwent in-depth training at the Jim Beam distillery with two of the best in the business, Master Distiller Jerry Dalton and Fred Noe. He learned about the distilling process and how to nose, sip and taste the spirit. He was also taught to identify the subtle nuances, such as color, age and proof, among various bourbons.
Today, Bernie serves as one of three Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey Professors who travel the American Whiskey Trail in an effort to educate and entertain bartenders, bar and restaurant owners and consumers about America’s native spirit. He is a master of the unique skill of label reading – using a bottle’sl abel to identify what is and isn’t bourbon, specifically the differences between Kentucky Straight Bourbon and whiskey.
When not on the road, you can usually find Bernie among friends sharing his bottle of Knob Creek and his latest joke. Like fine bourbon, Bernie keeps getting better with age and has a thirst for knowledge that cannot be quenched.
For questions or comments, you can reach Bernie at BernieLubbers@hotmail.com.


$45 for three cocktails .... I'll pass.

cigarnv
05-16-2008, 10:40
Clearly this event is geared to the metro-sexual bar crowd who like their bourbon mixed so they can't taste the bourbon. Other than the Manhattan I am not sure why they don't use rail bourbon rather than wasting a decent pour..... I guess you couldn't get $45?

The Morton's in this neck of the woods have typically had a very limited bourbon offering with Makers and Knob being the top end...

callmeox
05-16-2008, 11:09
After seeing that the schedule for the tastings included Ohio, I figured that it would be a Bookers/Bakers/Basil Haydens/Knob Creek format. I can't think of another distillery with a full enough line available here to support any kind of a tasting except maybe BT with BT, ER and Blantons.

NeoTexan
05-16-2008, 11:21
My favorite:

"He is a master of the unique skill of label reading – using a bottle’s label to identify what is and isn’t bourbon, specifically the differences between Kentucky Straight Bourbon and whiskey." :shocked: :shocked:

What a guy! How many of us have this "unigue skill"? Ummmm .... everyone?

1990Z51
05-16-2008, 13:04
For $45 I can get a really good bottle of Bourbon and enjoy it just fine without some know-it-all reading the label and telling me "yep, that sure is Kentucky Straight Bourbon" And for $90 (accounting the wife and myself), well that's a lot of dough.

Thanks, but no thanks Morton's.

I appreciate the attempt, but they should try getting multiple bourbons and sampling them neat/chilled/rocks. No mixers necessary.

cowdery
05-16-2008, 13:41
They're charging you $45 per person and you can bet Beam is paying them for the opportunity to make their sales pitch, so it's a good deal for Morton's. Since they're in business to make money, imagine how much they'd have to charge if they weren't subsidized by a producer and had to pay an independent expert.

barturtle
05-16-2008, 15:38
I've met Bernie, he's a great guy.

I don't think I would find it worth it to pay $45 for a few mixed drinks, but it would almost be worth it to go and play a game of "Stump the Whiskey Professor"

mgilbertva
05-16-2008, 22:26
They're charging you $45 per person and you can bet Beam is paying them for the opportunity to make their sales pitch, so it's a good deal for Morton's. Since they're in business to make money, imagine how much they'd have to charge if they weren't subsidized by a producer and had to pay an independent expert.

I used to work for Morton's and the only subsidy I know of is sometimes the featured producer would provide some or all of the alcohol depending on local laws. The reason they feature Beam is because that's what they carry. All Morton's are supposed to have Jim Beam small batch, Blantons, Rare Breed, Woodford, Jack Single Barrel for top shelf bourbons and Tennessees. Knob Creek and Basil are the top sellers.

They're probably doing a bourbon tasting to take advantage of the resurgence bourbon and cocktails are seeing right now.

As for featured expert, they come free since they're marketing the product, and usually ask to bring some guest(s) for free as well.

cowdery
05-18-2008, 17:54
Providing some or all of the whiskey, plus the featured speaker, is a pretty substantial subsidy. They're getting $45 per person and providing what? The room, waitstaff and some munchies.

I'm not being critical. Good for them. I'm just pointing out why most tastings are put on by one producer. Restaurants, bars and liquor stores have little incentive to pay an independent expert and provide all the liquor themselves. They could do it, but to realize the same profit they'd probably have to charge twice as much, or more.

cigarnv
05-19-2008, 04:24
I am not sure what it is about Morton's, or major steakhouse chains in general, when it comes to wine and spirit tastings / dinners. Most of the ones I have seen promoted are typically expensive and feature products that tend to be a bit "pedestrian" in nature. In this case the bourbons are decent but they then water them down with mixers. In effect it would appear that they run these events for everyone but the folks who appreciate better wines and spirits.

In comparison we have several family owned restaurants in the area that do outstanding wine, beer and spirit dinners. The pricng tends to be in the $65-110 per person range inclusive of tax and tip for a 5-6 course meal . One local spot holds at least two a month which attract 35-50 attendees. The owners not only make a decent profit but insist the dinners are the best marketing vehicle they have.

cowdery
05-19-2008, 19:03
Not speaking for Morton's but for the genre, I often go to this sort of thing in a press capacity. My ticket is paid for by the liquor producer, through the local distributor of course since direct payments are not permitted. In addition to journalists, other guests might be other local customers and, of course, the necessary number of distributor sales representatives to cover those customers. Sometimes "guests" outnumber the paying customers. Among other things, like entertaining customers and promoting their brands, these events are a perfectly legal way for money to pass from the distributor to the venue, as anyone would expect to pay for a private party. Making the private party quasi-public is a way to fill up the room and let the venue make even a little more money. Of course the venue can also use it as a perk for their most valued customers. This isn't true in every case, but in many of these cases the actual number of tickets sold is small. What I'm trying to say is that the venue is making money before the first ticket is sold, and the price is more important for establishing how much will be paid for the "guest" tickets than it is for the price/value relationship of what is being offered.

mgilbertva
05-19-2008, 19:59
Quite right. But for venues like Morton's, the price is set more by what the market can bear than an explicit calculation of the percentage of paying guests. People are willing to pay more just because it's at a high-end steakhouse. There's a cache going to such restaurants if you're entertaining business clients or friends.

In other words, these are not aimed at enthusiasts of the sort who frequent this board. You're not going to see an event where they launch a new Four Roses product or the like. Out of a a couple dozen events I was involved in, there were maybe a couple where the owner or winemaker from a major winery attended and provided something truly unusual.

cowdery
05-19-2008, 20:48
Agreed, I think it's people who like Morton's, who go there frequently, who like "events," and who would think nothing of dropping $45 per person on a couple of cocktails and some appetizers, without the floor show. That person probably looks at the Morton's event schedule every month and goes to one or more of them. I suspect it is targeted at their heavy users who mostly are there for the Morton's experience.

cigarnv
05-20-2008, 04:14
Chuck and Mark, thanks for the insiders perspective. It is interesting that I have always enjoyed a steakhouse meal as in the past they have been safe havens for cigar smokers.... but that has changed for the most part.

jwevan01
06-11-2008, 20:33
Oops,

My bad, just posted a new thread about attending the kickoff tasting at Morton's in Louisville. Didn't see this thread until it popped up on the similar threads list immediately after I posted. Sorry for the redundancy.

Joel Evans

NeoTexan
06-12-2008, 05:34
It was good to read your other post. My fear was that one was limited to the designer drinks. If I can get mine neat, it may be worth attending. May need to reconsider.
Thanks

smokinjoe
06-12-2008, 06:50
Yes, thank you for the excellent notes. I had heard of this earlier, but the anticipatory reviews weren't very compelling. But, as Dale said, I too will reconsider going. Not having to do only the mixed cocktails is a huge plus. Glad to hear they have their mini-steak sammys available! Yummy! I can do some damage on those things.

Thanks again, Joel. And, welcome aboard!

:toast:

JOE