Welcome to Episode #10 of The Whisky Guy Podcast, featuring Phil, Chad and Eric of Chicago’s Longman & Eagle!
It’s Whisky Wednesday – Time for a dram!
Published January 6, 2016
In this episode of The Whisky Guy Podcast:
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Celebrate Burns Night on January 25
Next Monday, January 25, will mark the 257th birthday of Robert Burns – Scotland’s greatest poet and the country’s greatest export. Find a Burns Night celebration in your area or simply head to the local for a dram and to read some poetry. Some of Burns’ more famous poems include “Tam O’Shanter,” “Tae A Mouse,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “John Barleycorn” and “Address tae the Haggis.”
Featured Interview: Phil, Chad and Eric from Chicago’s Longman & Eagle
- Welcome to Phil, Eric and Chad at Longman & Eagle in Chicago!
- Opened in January 2009
- Opened as a ‘take on an old Chicago inn’ with a bar, restaurant and hotel rooms
- Longman’s motto: “Eat Sleep Whiskey”
- Hotel has a ~85% occupancy
- Rooms are usually booked a few months ahead of time
- Inn guests are a mix of business travelers, travelers wanting to stay close to local family and ‘staycationers’; occasionally wedding parties
- Whisky at Longman started as a passion; the bar was built as a place for the owners to hang out, then couldn’t get a seat at their own bar
- Original bar manager learned from Mike Miller at Delilah’s, another Chicago bar and name on the global whisky map
- Longman is the self-proclaimed “second best whisky bar in Chicago” behind Delilah’s
- Chicago has lots of similar selection – what makes Longman different?
- A feel when you walk in, from whisky selection to food to cocktails to straight ambiance
- Passion and focus
- Maintaining their dedication to acknowledging outside trends and making conscious decisions on whether to participate in them or not
- Some trends are just ‘trendy’
- Longman works toward innovation while still trying to perfect execution
- ‘New’ doesn’t mean it should be in every drink
- Longman pours a mix of cocktails and neat or rocks pours
- The team also struggles with the balance between hand-crafted perfect execution and high volume, with an eye to the future
- All drinks are valid – from the most complex to the most basic and ancient. Longman is willing to push their guests when they want to be pushed
- Putting Eric on the spot – if a mass-produced brand like Crown Royal gets ordered, Eric might suggest Old Overholt as an option to change it up
- Longman offers 40 whiskies at $3/shot
- #1 whisky varies by type – Dickel Rye, Cabin Still, Old Fitzgerald and Ancient Age lead the charge
- Longman bought as much stock of Ancient Age as they could when they found out it would no longer be available in Chicago
- $3 shots are a ‘gateway drug’ to bigger and better
- The team at Longman are whiskey nerds and surround themselves with complementing skills and passions
- When not drinking at Longman, Phil also likes Delilah’s, Billy Sunday, Analogue (especially the Cajun food), Small Bar (for beer), and Yusho (for Japanese whisky and food).
- Japanese whisky is on fire in Chicago
- Japanese whisky selection at Longman has tripled in the last year, including Ichiro’s Malt
- Look for Japanese whisky to continue to gain popularity
Part II of the Longman & Eagle interview will be in Episode 15 of The Whisky Guy Podcast. We’ll cover a lot more, including learning about their podcast – Shots Fired! – which you can listen to today. Find Longman & Eagle at 2657 N. Kedzie Ave in Chicago, across the street from the Logan Square L stop. Stop in and tell ’em The Whisky Guy sent you!
How to Shop for Whisky When Traveling
Look for reviews for 2 different whiskies during episode #11 of The Whisky Guy Podcast! Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, my #1 tip: When traveling, buy what you can’t get at home. Some cities get whiskeys that others don’t, some countries get whiskies that will never be distributed to other countries, some local distilleries don’t produce enough to distribute far from their distillery, and some whiskeys are sold exclusively at Duty Free shops around the world. These are the whiskies to get – not the GlenWhatever at a ‘special’ price. Not only will they stand out in your personal collection, but they also make great ice breakers for your stories.
Some whiskies I found at the Duty Free store in London that I haven’t seen in the US:
** Important Note – Be sure to not get hit with fees at the border by paying attention to your home country’s limits for how much alcohol you can bring in with you. (US Customs Limits / Canadian Customs Limits)
Have you found a great bottle of whiskey on your travels that isn’t available at home? Tweet about it tagging @WhiskyGuy to tall me about the good stuff!
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Next time on The Whisky Guy Podcast…
A Toast to Robert Burns
From John Barleycorn
Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!