Cerulean Whiskey Society promotes responsible appreciation of the classic spirit

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By: Tom Westerhof

Photo supplied by Cerulean Winona Lake

Cerulean, a restaurant located in The Village at Winona in the town of Winona Lake, recently kicked off its initial Cerulean Whiskey Society.

For a small fee of $25 — which entitles you to a four-month membership — society members will be treated to bi-weekly tastings of two to five limited-edition whiskeys. Tastings will be based on each member’s personal schedule, simply show up when you’re available and you’ll be treated to the featured whiskeys for that two-week cycle. Tastings will last 30 minutes to an hour and may be split between two visits.

When I asked Cerulean’s bar manager Benjamin Gummere about putting the program together, he replied that: “As bar manager of Cerulean Winona Lake, it has been a pleasure to grow our bar program over the last year and a half. I have developed a growing passion for fine spirits and wanted to share that passion with the community. With the help of my team, this program has been able to come to reality and will be a first of its kind here in Winona Lake.”

The passion for putting the program together was an opportunity for people who appreciated whiskey to get together and explore new and interesting products while giving members a chance to sample spirits before buying a whole bottle.

“Many of the whiskeys presented have a long, rich American history, but there are others from a more recent craft distilling movement that will be different from what you may have had in the past. Jonny (Morbitzer), our bartender, and I will guide you through the process of tasting, and enrich your experience with the stories and the histories behind each brand,” wrote Gummere in his initial email to society members.

Through the four-month membership, tastings of 24 to 32 whiskeys will be available. Also included in the Cerulean Whiskey Society membership will be a discount on bottles of the featured limited-edition whiskeys, discounted pricing on all 1.5 to 2 oz. pour/cocktails using the featured whiskey of that bi-weekly cycle, and a personal whiskey society nosing glass from Warsaw Cut Glass. Members will also be given information packets on featured whiskeys and a whiskey society journal, where they will be able to document tastings and jot down notes about samples. Special outings and events are in the works and will be announced as they are finalized.

While spots are no longer available for the first four-month membership, interested individuals may find information on the Cerulean Whiskey Society and future rounds of memberships on Cerulean’s Facebook page.

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