Delmonico turns the page with its Book of Whiskey

At the Venetian’s Delmonico Steakhouse, whiskey is put on par with wine as the perfect steak mate. Delmonico/Table 10 beverage manager and mixologist Max Solano has amassed a collection that has climbed into the multiple hundreds. It was high time they were cataloged—into a Book of Whiskey.

In a leather-bound volume not unlike those found bearing the bar menus at other meateries lay Delmonico’s whiskey-only wonderland—17 pages that transport whiskey aficionados and neophytes from Scotland and Ireland across the sea to Canada and the U.S. (including a deep collection of bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and American rye) and still farther west, on to Japan.

There are 258 whiskeys in all, not to mention another 15 waiting in the wings for spring’s updated edition. It’s a collection that physically bursts forth from every liquor cubby in Delmonico’s back bar and spans every inch of counter space while bottles of Skyy vodka teeter on the edge of oblivion.

The book’s high-end highlights include Springbank 25 Year “Dearly Departed” ($95 per dram), Glen Grant 40 Year Vintage 1964 Jewels of Scotland collection ($115) and the Macallan 30 Year ($140). But what sets Delmonico’s whiskey book apart from its competitors (one such being MGM’s Craftsteak with its own collection of 216 whiskeys) is that Delmonico forgoes some of the prestige bottles considered de rigueur by whiskey fanciers—those bottles one never actually opens but merely acquires to complete the collection—in favor of quality middle to high-end bottles that are reasonably priced and which enjoy heavy rotation. Says Solano, “Everything we have we move.”

In the middle there are great buys: Glenmorangie Signet “Chocolate Malt” ($34), which is perfect with or even as dessert; High West “Rendezvous” rye from nearby Park City, Utah, ($15); and Solano’s favorite, the Caol Ila 12 Year Vintage 1997 Wemyss “Burnt Heather” ($23).

And yes, you can still get Southern Comfort for just $11.50. If you must, then you must.

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