Whiskey a go-go! … plus some bubbles for brunch

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Executive Editor
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If you want to get Pride kicked off right, we have a suggestion: Perle on Maple, the new restaurant inside the Stoneleigh Hotel, is doing its inaugural Pride Brunch on Saturday, just as the music fest in Reverchon Park is getting started a few blocks away. You can come by for a tasting from chef Wade Burch that will include, of course, mimosas and other bubbles to enchant your tongue. Our friends at He Said Magazine, Cooper Koch and Steven Lindsey, function as hosts for the event. Brunch (order a la carte) is served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; shade continues throughout the day.

Then you can conclude Pride weekend in a similar fashion. Chefs for Farmers will host its annual Mixoff, with local bartenders coming up with unique recipes featuring Maker’s Mark — appropriate, since September is National Bourbon Heritage Month — as well as Patron tequila. Mixologists participating this year include Heather Polie from The Statler, Ricky Cleva from Harlowe MXM (which celebrates its one-year anniversary this week), Rye Patton from The Standard Pour and Sun Joon from Parliament. In addition, area sous chefs will pair bites for the drinks, including Kevin Keas from Five Sixty, Michael Lawson of Macellaio, Yonathan Joel Bustillo from Uchi, Cody Sharp from Wheelhouse and Andrew Vu of the newly-opened Fine China. The benefit takes place right after the parade in the Design District. DEC on Dragon, 1414 Dragon St. $55. ChefsForFarmers.com.

Bourborn Heritage Month just happens to coincide with one of the largest tastings of its kind coming to Dallas. Whiskies of the World at the Frontiers of Flight Museum will feature more than 200 brands, including quickly identifiable names like Basil Hayden’s, Bulleit and Knob Creek, as well as less familiar brands of scotch, bourbon, Canadian, Irish and Japanese whiskies. Frontiers of Flight Museum, 6911 Lemmon Ave. 6 p.m. $120. WhiskiesOfTheWorld.com.

To honor all of this abundance, we decided to do a wide-ranging tasting of our own — not just of bourbons, but a variety of whiskies you might wanna check out (listed in order of price point).

A Fistful of Bourbon ($25). Scotch whiskey company William A. Grant & Sons took the remarkable step of releasing, for the first time, a blended bourbon of five Kentucky whiskies. (As its name supports, they launched it this month here in Texas.) An approachable, savory whiskey with hints of baking spice and cinnamon, it works best straight up or lightly mixed as an old-fashioned. ***

Maker’s Mark 46 ($25–$40). Brassy color, slightly spicy with notes of cinnamon and vanilla set off this reliable but more sophisticated version of the storied bourbon. ***

George Remus Bourbon ($35–$45). A high-rye blend. Pallid, sippable and smooth, but undistinguished. **½

Reilly’s Ginger Rock and Rye ($45–$50). Sugary, like the rock candy that inspires it, and so sweet for a whiskey you might drink before dinner. Even so, it would work well as a dessert with ice cream or mixed with something dry. ***

Fire & Cane ($48–$50). Scotch maker Glenfiddich has been rolling out new expressions of its classic scotch in recent years, and this one is something rare for the brand: A peaty, smoky taste rarely associated with Glenfiddich… and it’s a total success, with sweetness on the back-end. ***1/2

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked ($45–$65). Smooth but with a tangy aftertaste. Viscous and caramelly with a distinct aroma of hazelnuts, and a nutty flavor, it’s new and delightful. **** (best value)

Arkansas Black Applejack 21 Year ($125–$140). Part brandy, part whiskey, the super long finish has the unmistakable flavor of apples and vanilla. ****½ (not widely available) █