18 billion Old Fashioneds in one bar? You betcha. Before we checked in for our latest visit at Smoking Panda we checked out the Facey page of bar head Iain Guthrie who wrote the list and found this:
"Hey math nerds, I need some help.
So, I have a bar with 261 different spirits. I also have 232 different bottles of bitters, and 5 different kinds of sugar.
Now, if an Old Fashioned can consist of 1-2 different spirits, 1-2 different bitters, and 1 sugar, how many different Old Fashioneds can I make?"
"The actual answer is 18,332,723,520
5 x 232 x 261 = 302,760
5 x 232 x 231 x 261 = 69,937,560
5 x 232 x 231 x 261 x 260 = 18,183,765,600
5 x 232 x 261 x 260 = 78,717,600"
But more than quantity, better yet is the top knotch smoooooth of each.
Review by the whisky drinking expert in the team (although humbly nominating myself here we in truth have probably more than one) states that these are the smoothest Old Fashioneds I've experienced for some time. Top marks for (my usual bar bug bear) amazing cut-to-order totally-pith-removed peel. Yeup the peel and just the peel is a best-of-breed work of art. Add to this hand chipped frozen H2O (aka ice). Cocktails stirred nicely too. And as stated, with any combo of spirits and bitters, indeed the number is actually greater than 18 billion when the option of different sugar syrups is added.
Though as the man himself knows what he is doing, if you don't intend to try more than 232 different Old Fashioneds, maybe stick with the recommended spirits-bitters-sugarsyrup combos of Iain Guthrie. The spirits and each recommended partner bitters are displayed side by side on the back bar. We lined up a range before settling on smoky whisky up front for the smoothest of smooth perfections as starters.
And the verdict: we've always loved this upstairs Park Street Bar, but as a Old Fashioned specialist, The Smoking Panda just got even better!