Skip to main content

Roof Terrace Restaurant hosts bourbon tasting at The Kennedy Center

If you ask Maggie Smith how she celebrated her 21st birthday, she'll tell you, "with bourbon, of course" in a private dining room of the Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar at The Kennedy Center. Thursday night, three small batch bourbons were served with hors d'oeuvres for 40 special guests.

As General Manager of Restaurant Associates, Jeff Wingate explained, "The spirits tasting has allowed us to attract a new audience. We'll continue with the wine tastings at the holidays and continue to offer new and innovative events year round."


Jeff Wingate, Jeff Woods and Mike Goss

As for the selection of bourbons, Republic Nationals' sales representative, Jeff Woods and "Spirit Specialist" Mike Goss were on hand to pour a little Kentucky history along with the spirits.

"Brown liquors are back", said Jeff Woods. "Wine drinkers are starting to enjoy the complexity of bourbon." And why the selection of these three I asked? While all bourbon is 51% corn, selected were three small batch bourbons with distinctly different grains. Basil Hayden's is predominantly rye and 80 proof, Maker's Mark is wheat and 90 proof, and Knob Creek mostly corn and 100 proof.

Basil Hayden's special recipe dates back to 1796, with the extra rye giving it a unique character. Aged for eight years creates the long smooth finish.

Since 1958, Kentucky distiller Bill Samuels, Sr. set out to make a softer and gentler bourbon whisky (yes, no 'e' when the whiskey's Scottish) using winter wheat in the mash.

Named after the childhood home of Abraham Lincoln, Knob Creek is an honest 100 proof aged in charred American white oak for a full-bodied woody flavor.


Kennedy Center regulars and fans of the Roof Terrace Restaurant, Regina and Franklin Varga, along with Patricia Mearo discovered bourbon tasting through OpenTable and were "glad they're doing this to give us another reason to come here."


John Coco, Restaurant Associates' Wine and Beverage Director discusses the virtues of a Maker's Mark Manhatten.