The only thing better than a woman that smokes cigars is a woman that smokes cigars and drinks whisky while smoking cigars. I have the pleasure of having a wife that falls into this category; however, my wife is more of a wine drinker than whisky. The article below delves into the topic with more depth.
Written By Richard Guzman for Los Angeles Daily News
For Alexis Rhone Fancher, it started as an act of rebellion against her parents.
For Lisa Segal, it’s about bonding with friends, and for Kim Ohanneson it was simply love at first sip.“I instantly fell in love,” Ohanneson says, recalling the first time she tried whiskey about 20 years ago when a friend offered her a Macallan single malt scotch.“It was the complexity and a richness that just said, ‘This is my drink,’ ” she says after taking a sip from a glass of Laphroaig single malt 10-year-old scotch.Whiskey is also the drink of choice for Fancher and Segal, who are sitting with Ohanneson at a table in a downtown L.A. restaurant on a recent rainy Friday night.
“When I go out, I drink whiskey — and why do I drink whiskey? I drink whiskey because I like the taste of it. I can savor a whiskey,” Segal says, jokingly describing herself as a promiscuous drinker because she can’t decide which is her favorite whiskey. Fancher, who says she first sneaked a taste of the liquor at the age of 14, knows what she likes. “I like single malts, and I like Japanese whiskey, which really is scotch, but you can’t call it scotch because it’s not made in Scotland,” she says with authority. The women are part of a rapidly growing club that’s looking to dispel stereotypes about what women like to drink — or that whiskey is somehow for men only. “I pretty much don’t drink anything else but whiskey, neat,” says Ohanneson, the L.A. chapter president of Women Who Whiskey, which is marking its one-year anniversary this month. First launched in New York in 2011 by whiskey enthusiast Julia Ritz Toffoli, the women-only whiskey club was started to connect like-minded women who at the time stood out for drinking whiskey. “I would talk to women, and we would have the same conversation over and over, which was, ‘I like whiskey, but why is that so strange for people — why is it hard for men to understand that we like whiskey?’ ” Toffoli said. Members of the club attend whiskey events every month that often include trips to distilleries or tastings led by experts or brand representatives who discuss flavor profiles and different kinds of whiskeys. “For me, it’s such an amazing experience to meet so many different types of women who are united by their love of this one thing, but who have totally different backgrounds and experiences coming into it,” Toffoli said. The events not only unite women who love the drink but also makes them more confident whiskey drinkers, members of the L.A. chapter say. “I feel strong when I drink whiskey. I feel feminine in this very unexpected way,” Segal says, noting that yes, there are still some men who do a double take when she orders a whiskey. Since its launch, the club has grown into an organization that boasts 23 chapters across the United States and internationally and claims to have about 10,000 total members. The year-old L.A. chapter is one of the biggest with about 2,400 registered members who attend the largely women-only events. And the fast growth of the club both nationally and locally doesn’t surprise the members, since it’s reflective of the overall renaissance of whiskey as well as the appeal the drink has for women, whose contributions to the liquor go beyond just tossing back a few. “Women have always been an integral part of making whiskey,” said Fred Minnick, a Kentucky-based writer whose penned three books about whiskey including “Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey.” Minnick notes that women have worked in fermentation rooms, as distillers and marketers throughout whiskey’s history. “In American whiskey, one of the most dominant whiskey brands out there, Maker’s Mark, the name and the red dripping wax on the bottle were all designed by Margie Samuels, and she co-owned the brand,” he said.
But women haven’t always been big whiskey drinkers.
In the late 1950s, for example, women only made up about 5 percent of liquor purchases, Minnick noted.In the 1990s about 15 percent of whiskey drinkers where women.Today, however, women represent about 37 percent of whiskey drinkers in the U.S., according to Minnick’s research.“We’re in a time where people no longer want flavorless products. They want to taste what they’re drinking,” Minnick said.And for the members of Women Who Whiskey, it’s also about who they’re tasting it with.
“I have these very intimate, close feelings about drinking scotch that are really associated with women friends. It’s just always been that way for me,” Segal says while having drinks with Ohanneson and Fancher.