Did you know that Rarities, a 25-seat saloon in the Lotte New York Palace hotel, is offering a distinctive whiskey flights on its rather impressive menu of fine spirits? Any intimidation factor in approaching the big boys’ menu is pacified by Wine and Beverage Director Justin Lorenz who has curated the spirit list as well as the whiskey flights. No matter if you are a whiskey expert or sipping for the first time; Justin will warmly and expertly guide you through the tasting and give you a greater appreciation for what is a truly special experience.
When I say special, I mean special: the venue has a Japanese ice sculptor on consignment who perfectly etches the Crown hotel logo into individual ice cubes especially for the venue. Special, in the sense that Lotte New York Palace boasts diplomatic clearances and you will be sitting in the same seats as heads of states and drinking like a king (PS: It’s reservation only so call ahead.).
Justin walked us through two flights. One being a selection of American Bourbons and the other consisted of Ichuro Japanese Whiskey. You drink the flights from snifters (no ice) to get the full flavor. The Japanese whiskey’s all interestingly different in flavor profile. Tasting each one provides a clear and welcome differential which refreshed the palate with new flavors with the transition to each new bottle. The American Bourbon flight features three different distilleries serving up flavors ranging from smooth, the Elijah Craig 23yr, to fiercely fiery, the Goerge T. Stagg 15yr.
The American Bourbon flight features three different distilleries serving up flavors ranging from smooth, the Elijah Craig 23yr, to fiercely fiery, the Goerge T. Stagg 15yr.
The Lotte New York Palace is a New York landmark constructed in 1882. Its adjacency to a 55 story skyscraper provides an enveloping stage upon which entering the courtyard makes one feel like you are being transported to majestic railroad tycoon era. In fact, the aptly named palace originally was a railroad tycoon’s massive home. If you are going to hang out in a robber baron’s mansion you should also drink like one. This is what you will do at Rarities.
Rarities, is old school New York at it’s best. It’s not cheap – the flights range from $65 to $250 – but it will be worth it. This is the type of thing you want to do with a close friend, to impress a business associate, or if you want to up your spirits knowledge. You will slowly indulge in perfectly picked whiskey, the grandeur of the space, and an impressive depth of knowledge from a professional spirits sommelier. Even if you don’t have an excuse, Rarities is worth the trip through time and fine spirits.
Rarities at Lotte New York Palace details
455 Madison Ave., 917-202-8379, raritiesnyc.com