Without doubt, one of the best invitations I’ve received in recent memory was to yesterday’s Scotch tasting hosted by my friends Mary and Ed. Photographer Julius Shulman was the guest of honor, and it was his Scotch we were enjoying. In addition to his iconic photographs, which include some of my all-time favorite images of Southern California, Shulman is known as something of a Scotch aficionado. Here’s the man himself, along with friend Jonathan, who gave Julius his first bottle of Scotch a decade ago.
Ed and Mary’s place is incredible, high in the hills of Eagle Rock, complete with a poolside tiki bar. We gathered outside to enjoy some nibbles before launching into the single malt.
Mary had individual water bottles for all of us with our names Sharpee’d on the label.
John from Seven Grand downtown lead the tasting, and a mighty fine job he did, taking us through multiple Glens (-livet, -fiddich, -rothes), Oban, Laphroaig, Balvenie, Talisker, Macallan, to name a few. Love the Balvenie and Talisker, both of which we have at home, but am now totally into Oban—briny, honeyed and malty with a bit of smoky spice.
Councilman Tom LaBonge stopped by to toast Julius (with water, which we’ll forgive him thanks to a well-played witticism involving William Mulholland), while the rest of us toasted with something a little stronger. I wish I’d had a moment to talk to him about the street lights that are out at the end of our block, about which we’ve all called him and have been playing a mighty long game of phone tag with his field officer.
Unfortunately we had to get back to Tiny G before dessert was served, but the three cakes pretty much spelled it out: ALL. HAIL. JULIUS.
Thanks, Mary and Ed! Can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. And thank you Mr. Shulman for sharing tastes of all those amazing single malts!