SUSHISAMBA Introduces The Largest Japanese Whisky List In Las Vegas

I was first told about Japanese whiskey (whisky?) a couple of years ago. It isn’t the easiest booze to find in Las Vegas, but I’ve enjoyed whiskey from Japan and Taiwan (mmmm…Kavalan). The Palazzo is one of my favorite casinos in Las Vegas but I’ve never been to SUSHISAMBA.

The addition of the largest Japanese whisky list in Las Vegas might make change that. I’m a sucker for a sherry cask and the Akashi Single Malt 5 yr Sherry Cask has my attention. You can read the details in the press release below.


LAS VEGAS, NV… February 7th, 2017 – SUSHISAMBA, the internationally acclaimed restaurant on the Strip that blends Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisines into what Zagat calls “inventive” and “incredibly flavorful” is unveiling the largest Japanese Whisky list in Las Vegas, and one of the largest in America.

“We are constantly seeking things that complement and bring something special to the SUSHISAMBA brand,” said Shimon Bokovza, CEO of Orange Brands Management. “After conquering sake for the past 15 years we are looking forward to expand our offering and introduce Japanese Whisky to our guests in a new and exciting way.”

Thanks to constant refinement and attention to detail, Japanese Whiskies have been in the spotlight in recent years garnering global accolades and gaining in popularity. These delicate tasting Whiskies modeled after the scotch tradition—double distilling malted and/or peated barley before it’s aged in wood barrels – have been shaped by three men commonly referred to as Founding Fathers of Japanese Whisky: Shinjiro Torii of Suntory, Masataka Taketsuru of Nikka and Kiichiro Iwai of Mars.

The SUSHISAMBA list has been curated around these three Founding Fathers and it features 26 Whiskies without age statements all the way up to Whiskies aged 28 years, in all varieties: Single Malt, Pure Malt, Blended Whisky, Blended Malt Whisky, Sherry Cask Whisky, Whiskies that have been distilled in the Japanese Alps, or Whiskies that have been distilled in the most northern island of Hokkaido where the distillery is nestled between mountains and the Sea of Japan. The impressive collection also includes some rare award-winning selections such as Akashi 5YR Sherry Cask, the Mars 3 & 25, Nikka Taketsuru 17yr Pure Malt – a line dedicated to the founder of Nikka.

In celebration of the launch, starting February 16, SUSHISAMBA will offer a specially curated menu featuring Japanese Whisky. The menu will showcase the versatility of the Whiskies presented with a variety of SUSHISAMBA dishes from Crispy Tempura Minter Sweet Oysters with Butter Lettuce to Whisky-Soy Marinated Robata Pork Ribs. Each dish will highlight the flavor profiles and nuances of the paired Whisky.

“Japanese Whisky is traditionally paired with chocolate, cheese, and smoked meats,” said SUSHISAMBA Executive Chef Joel Versola. “The real excitement here is that we’re going much wider with our pairings. There is an element of surprise”

The limited edition Whisky menu was specially curated by SUSHISAMBA Las Vegas Executive Chef Joel Versola, Assistant Corporate Sushi Chef John Um and Executive Pastry Chef Michael Outlaw with expert pairings by Hayes Swope and will include:

This classic riff on an Old Fashioned sees Japanese Whisky treated to a wash of the highest grade wagyu before being stirred with maple and salted caramel. Served over ice.
osetra caviar, scallion, spicy sweet and sour mignonette

Passion Fruit Whisky Sour
Iwai Japanese Whisky, passion fruit shaken hard with yuzu, egg white. Served ‘up’.
plantain chip and wasabi crème

Suntory Hakushu 12 yr Single Malt
sea salt, lime, spicy agave ponzu sauce

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky
pickled vegetable, aji panca barbecue sauce

portobello mushroom, avocado, black sesame and sherry bourbon truffle sauce

Akashi Single Malt 5 yr Sherry Cask
saffron red rice, Japanese mushroom, grape seviche, red wine-soy whiskey reduction

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
dark roasted coffee custard, chocolate hazelnut crumble, sweet cream ice cream, Japanese whisky foam

Japanese Cherry Manhattan Granita
Iwai Japanese Whisky, Antica Formula Carpano vermouth, cherry bitters, maraschino cherry syrup. Served ‘up.’

Whisky connoisseurs will have a chance to pre-order the entire menu with 48-hour notice on an ongoing basis and for limited time SUSHISAMBA will offer one featured course with a pairing for guests to experience each week until April 10th.

7th Annual Beerfest Weekend At Golden Nugget Sept. 17-18

Stella Artois Video Poker Bar At Red Rock Las Vegas

The Golden Nugget has a history of hosting some of the most affordable beer, whiskey and wine festivals. This year is no different as they host the 7th annual beerfest weekend on September 17 and 18.

Tickets are relatively affordable at $54 or $59 (depending on when you buy). The best part of the fest is that there will be 125 types of beer. You can find more information here and in the press release below.

LAS VEGAS (August 25, 2016) – For the seventh year in a row, beer lovers are invited to the Golden Nugget Las Vegas’ annual Beerfest weekend event Sept. 17-18. Guests will be able to gather for the premier beer festival of the season in Downtown Las Vegas, and sample award-winning breweries paired with beer-inspired bites and live entertainment throughout the weekend. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Animal Foundation.

This two-day beer weekend will feature the following events:

All American Craft Beer Tasting

Grand Event Center | Saturday, Sept. 17, 7pm

Enjoy a selection of tasty brews and soak up the sudsy venue at this special Grand Tasting affair. Guests are invited to tap into the season with a beer sampling extravaganza featuring over 125 selections of craft beers and breweries, paired with live music and culinary bites. $5 from every full priced ticket will be donated to The Animal Foundation. This event is priced at $54 pre-sale and $59 at the door per person.

Oktoberfest Pool Party

The Tank | Sunday, Sept. 18, 1 p.m.

Enjoy an Oktoberfest-style pool party at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas’ award-winning pool and shark aquarium, The Tank. Beer enthusiasts are invited to enjoy 125 different international and domestic beers while listening to DJ Paradice. Entry is complimentary and the event is open to the public. Beer will be available for purchase.

 Participating breweries for the weekend-long event include:

  • 21st Amendment Brewery
  • AleSmith
  • Alpine Beer Company
  • Anchor Brewing
  • Bad Beat
  • Ballast Point
  • Belching Beaver
  • Big Dogs
  • Big Sky
  • Boston Brewing
  • Brooklyn
  • College Street
  • Dogfish Head
  • Epic
  • Firestone Walker
  • Great Basin
  • Green Flash
  • Lagunitas
  • Left Hand Brewing
  • Magic Hat / Pyramid
  • Moody Tongue
  • Mother Earth
  • New Belgium
  • Ommegang
  • Oskar Blues
  • Pizza Port
  • Rogue Farms
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Speakeasy
  • Stone Brewing Co.
  • Tenaya Creek
  • Victory 

Tickets can be purchased by calling (866) 946-5336. For more information, visit

Golden Nugget To Host 3rd Annual American Craft Whiskey Revival on March 5

Whiskey And Dice
Whiskey And Dice
I’m not sure it’s possible to drink 24 types of whiskey in 3 hours but I think I’d like to try.

It will be possible to try that much (and possibly more) whiskey when the Golden Nugget hosts the 3rd Annual “American Craft Whiskey Revival” on March 5.

Tickets are $45 in advance and $49 day of show. I’m a novice when it comes to brown booze but this seems like a good deal if you’re looking to experiment with whiskey.

See more details on the 3rd Annual “American Craft Whiskey Revival” from the press release:

Golden Nugget Las Vegas is getting in the spirit of springtime with the American Craft Whiskey Revival, the third annual whiskey Grand Tasting event, on Saturday, March 5 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Grand Event Center.

The Whiskey Revival offers guests the opportunity to sample fine artisan whiskies, American craft spirits, moonshines, and barrel-aged beers from a variety of America’s great distilleries. In addition, guests will be treated to live entertainment and Southern cuisine, plus mixology and educational classes led by distillery owners and brand ambassadors.

The Grand Tasting will feature over 24 participating distilleries including:

  • Basil Hayden
  • Blanton’s
  • Bookers
  • Buffalo Trace
  • Bulleit
  • Death’s Door
  • Firestone Walker Brewery
  • George Dickel
  • High West
  • Hudson Whiskey
  • Jack Daniel’s
  • Jim Beam
  • Knob Creek
  • Maker’s Mark
  • Square One Organic Spirits
  • St. George Spirits
  • Amador Whiskey
  • Anchor Distilling
  • Templeton Whiskey
  • Michters

Advance tickets are available for purchase for $45 (plus tax and fees), and allow guests access to the Grand Tasting one hour early. Guests can also purchase tickets at the door for $49 (plus tax and fees). To purchase tickets, click here or call (866) 946-5336. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend the American Craft Whiskey Revival.

Uh Oh, “The Whiskey Apocalypse Is Coming”

Whiskey And Dice
Whiskey And Dice

I’d been looking for a sipping drink for when I gamble for a couple of years. In December I took a week to experiment with the different brown boozes. I was on the Vegas Strip and sampled a variety of bourbon, whiskey and scotch. I did a lot of taste testing on casino comps while I gambled (see Vegas Chatter post) but paid for some top shelf liquor that was recommended and only available at bars and restaurants.

The combination of drinking on casino comps and cash was an economically efficient way to try something I wasn’t sure I’d like. Over the week-long experiment I found that I really like Macallan. Macallan has become my go to brown booze to sip on when I’m gambling. I’ve been sucked into the brown booze world and now keep a bottle at home at all times.

With that in mind, I had a little freak out when I saw the headline “The U.S. is on the Brink of a Whiskey Crisis“. Say whaaaaa?! It’s kind of my fault. With so many people trying whiskey and brown booze for the first time the demand is high and supply can’t even come close to matching it.

Despite the increase in distillation over the past few years, bourbon demand still outpaces supply. The overall bourbon category is experiencing 5% growth, but premium brands are up nearly 20% from last year… The increase in sales, coupled with the aging process and evaporation loss, leads to a shortage with no end in sight.

Furthermore, as distilleries increase output the quality of the whiskey goes down. This happens with most industries but as it pertains to whiskey this may lead to shortages and hefty price increases.  This is a serious problem and it seems as though it won’t be corrected any time soon.

As it relates to Vegas casinos you can expect quality of whiskey offered as comps to decrease. I won’t be surprised if Planet Hollywood no longer comps Macallan (12) by the time I visit again. I’ll have to look for some less expensive alternatives to sip on when I’m in the casino.

Feel free to shoot over any recommendations. I’m always keeping an eye on alternatives. 


Sinatra Smash

This morning I was asked what a Sinatra Smash is so I figured I’d take a moment to share with everyone. While I drink, I’ve never had a Sinatra Smash, which is a boozy drink served at Wynn Las Vegas. It’s a berry drink that lots of people love. Below is a recipe from a Wynn newsletter.

  • 5-6 fresh blackberries
  • 2 oz. fresh sweet & sour*
  • ⅓ oz. Sonoma Vanilla Infused Simple Syrup
  • ¾ oz. Briotett Créme de Cassis
  • 2 oz. Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey

I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, even if the taste is faint. (I feel the same about Tequila.) However, I love berries. The newsletter gives more explanation how to make a Sinatra Smash.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries with the sweet & sour. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice until chilled. Strain over cracked ice in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a beautiful mint sprig.

*Fresh Sweet & Sour: Cut fresh lemons in half and extract the fresh juice. Strain. Combine equal parts of freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice with simple syrup (*see recipe below). Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use. Expires in 7 days.

To make simple syrup, dissolve equal amounts of granulated sugar and boiling water, allow to cool.

The picture above from Five Hundy’s flickr, doesn’t look very creamy but I don’t like mixing cream or sugar in my drinks. Add whiskey to the mix and you have a cocktail that has little appeal to me.

I’d rather take fresh berries and add them to a glass of Belvedere vodka. In fact, next time I’m at Wynn I think I’ll do that.