We’re already gearing our livers up for next week’s insane double header of Craft Spirits Week and Chicago Gourmet, and we’ll be distilling the schedule down to the must-attend events later this week. In the meantime, here’s one to definitely get on your radar—Letherbee’s new Autumnal Gin release party at the Whistler on September 24, which just so happens to coincide with the Whistler’s five-year anniversary and the bar’s week of celebrations. Seriously, stock up on coconut water now.
Letherbee’s first Autumnal release, last fall, featured “overtones of clove, nutmeg and allspice,” but this year things are a little different. “The main thing I was thinking of for this year was to incorporate smoke,” Letherbee’s Brenton Engel says. “Smoke will be a strong dominant flavor, which is interesting because no one has done much with smoke and gin.”
Besides smoke, the gin will feature mace, which he says is “almost like the fruit to the nutmeg seed; it’s what encapsulates the nutmeg.” To achieve the smoke flavor, they’re experimenting with a few ideas—using smoked black tea and smoking small batches of gin and then adding that to the whole batch.
Letherbee is making 120 cases of the gin, and 20 of those will be sent to New York. We spotted the Autumnal Gin in cocktails around the city last fall (and the Vernal Gin in the spring), so we’re looking forward to seeing what bartenders do with this batch.
The release party is at 6pm on Tuesday, September 24 at the Whistler (2421 N Milwaukee Ave).
We celebrate vintage vibes year round, but something about the beginning of fall gives us a craving for the dusty grooves! In lieu of Back-To-School/Work bedtimes, we’re trying something new:
PRELUDE: Join us for at 8PM for cocktails and conversation and hit the hay by 10PM! The masterful DJ Just Jazz will be playing the vintage grooves for this low key, grown-and-sexy-get-to-bed-early PRELUDE to Slo ‘Mo. We’ll have a special featured cocktail from the Whistler and other special treats. *The room will turn over for our monthly slow jams showdown around 10PM, so this special lil pre-show is for the early birds, please.*
SLO ‘MO: Slow jams for homos (and their fans) is Chicago’s party for lovers hosted by Kristen Kaza with grooves by Tess, including: Anita Baker, Sade, Frank Ocean, SWV, D’Angelo, Janet Jackson, A Tribe Called Quest, Raphael Saadiq, Zhane, R. Kelly, Isley Brothers, Jade, Brandy, Teena Marie, Maxwell, Mary J Blige + more. Slo ‘Mo’s residency at Logan Square’s The Whistler takes place the third Thursday of every month.
Slo ‘Mo welcomes people of all identities, bodies and expressions uniting under the equal opportunistic style of soul music.
Save the date: Thursday, October 3rd — Step Brothers — DJs andymasur and adamwaytz are bringing Chicago Steppin’ to the Whistler with a night of soulful jams from the past, present and future.
WHY I CHANGED MY MIND ON WEED
by DR. SANJAY GUPTA
Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called “Weed.” The title “Weed” may sound cavalier, but the content is not.
I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.
Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled “Why I would Vote No on Pot.”
Well, I am here to apologize.
(Read more at CNN.)
On a related note: Blunted Beats is tomorrow.
THE WHISTLER 5-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Wow! Can you believe it’s been 5 years? When we opened The Whistler back in the fall of 2008 on a desolate stretch of Milwaukee Avenue there wasn’t much going on in Logan Square, but times have changed. We owe a big thanks to you, our patrons, for allowing us to stick around so long and we’d like to thank you with 5 days of freebies, cheapies, and fun times!
Sunday, September 22: Whistler Records presents Relay Beken (record release) & Courtesy
Relay Beken features Whistler co-owner Robert Brenner and Nashville-based drummer David Stroud. On September 22nd the duo will celebrate the release of their debut EP, available on 12” vinyl from Whistler Records. Joining them is Whistler bartender Alex Pilkington’s band Courtesy, playing their first show in Chicago since relocating from Memphis last year.
Monday, September 23: Allá video premiere, live performance & DJ set; FREE LPs from Whistler Records
After spending three years in seclusion recording #feedthedragon volume one, two, and three, Chicago pop mavericks Allá, could not pass up the chance to help celebrate 5 years with their long-time friends at The Whistler. For this special evening, Allá will be premiering the video for their tune “Micro Psychotic” and will be performing songs from their upcoming album, #feedthedragon volume two. This will mark Allá’s first live appearance since the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival! And as if that weren’t enough, the first 100 patrons will receive a free copy of Whistler Records 3xLP Year One compilation featuring Allá and twenty-two other local bands.
Tuesday, September 24: Letherbee Autumnal Gin Release & The Rob Clearfield Quintet
In conjunction with Craft Spirits Week, our friends at Letherbee will introduce their 2013 Autumnal Gin at the Whistler on September 24th. You can sample this “roasty, toasty, smoky” gin, as well as cocktails featuring other Letherbee spirits. This being a Tuesday night, we’ll also present music from our Relax Attack Jazz Series. Providing the soundtrack for the night will be The Rob Clearfield Quintet. The band is a fitting choice, as pianist Rob Clearfield played the very first concert at the Whistler in the fall of 2008 with Matt Ulery’s Loom.
Wednesday, September 25: $5 cocktails, Deep Sleep, Golden Birthday
Tonight we’re serving up a menu featuring all $5 cocktails and we’ll be digging the sounds of Deep Sleep, the space-disco-art-pop band led by Whistler Monthly graphic designer and Plural Design co-founder Jeremiah Chiu. Golden Birthday is rooted in the creative universe of founder and frontman Ryan Sullivan. Binding his affinity for the atmospheric haze of vintage 4AD and Creation Records groups, and wrapping the resulting sonics like a cloak around his multi-layered vocals, Sullivan has laid claim to a sound aptly described by one writer as “pop in slow motion.”
Thursday, September 26: Maxx Traxx: Boogie & Modern Funk w/ DJ Shred One
To wrap up day 5 of our 5-Year celebration, we’re flying in from NYC Cherries Records founder Shred One to reprise her monthly boogie and modern funk party that ran at the Whistler from 2011-2013. Get down with us on the dance floor and cheers to another 5 years!
The Whistler, 2008:
The Whistler, 2013: