FLATIRON — This booze isn't for chugging.
A Flatiron bar is offering a taste of rare, decades-old whiskey for a whopping $1,400 per person — and the tickets are going fast.
The Flatiron Room, on West 26th Street, will offer a select group of guests a chance to taste 1 ounce each of six of the world's rarest whiskeys, including a 40-year-old Glenfiddich, a 40-year-old Balvenie and Glenmorangie Pride.
“[The tasting] is for those people who have everything and want something more,” Flatiron Room owner Tommy Tardie said of the small whiskey pours, which will cost tasters more than $230 per ounce.
Eight of the 20 total spots for the Nov. 14 and Nov. 19 evening tastings have already been snapped up, Tardie said.
While Tardie admitted that some people might balk at the price, he said, "I look at it as a Rolex watch. It tells you the same time as a Timex, but Rolex has more history around it. So, those who are into watches, they can justify it. It's the market we're living in."
Over the course of the two-hour tasting, the whiskey is meant to be sipped and savored, so participants can take time to decipher the differences between each type, Tardie said.
Aside from some light cheeses, food isn’t included in the price of the tasting, because pungent flavors can often overpower the palette and take away from the experience, Tardie said.
The Flatiron Room is already known as a destination for whiskey lovers, with a selection of over 750 varieties, ranging from a $10 bourbon to a $13,000 Johnnie Walker commemorative bottle. The lounge regularly hosts whiskey classes in its balcony tasting room for $65, but this will be the first tasting dedicated to rare, top-tier whiskeys.
"It's definitely a luxury," said Tardie, who added that his customers were the ones who first brought up the idea of holding a high-end tasting. "It's one of those experiential-type treats."
Whiskey grows more scarce as it ages, partly because of the interaction between the liquor and the barrel it sits in during maturation, Tardie said. As the whiskey is being matured, it's gradually evaporating, so that after 40 years, much of the original liquid is gone.
“By that time, it’s almost empty and there’s just enough to fill a couple of bottles,” Tardie said. “If it’s good whiskey, that’s one thing. If it’s good and that old, there’s just very little of it. These are very rare whiskeys and hard to get.”
The Flatiron Room’s director of whiskey education, Heather Greene, will lead the tasting and discussion.
Tardie hopes to draw customers who want to use the $1,400 tasting as a celebration of a major life milestone.
“Maybe they’re marking something in their life," Tardie said. "I’m treating myself to this because I had a great year, I’m a father, maybe I just got that new job or I’m turning 40. Those are the clienteles that we're going for.”