Women across Los Angeles are raising their glasses to a new club for all those who would rather order bourbon than wine in a bar.

The L.A. chapter of Women Who Whiskey received 1,500 membership applications within five days of its launch earlier this month and its opening event at downtown L.A. whiskey bar Seven Grand quickly sold out its 55 tickets.

Started in New York in 2011 by whiskey connoisseur Julia Ritz Toffoli, branches have since opened in six other cities around the country. The new L.A. chapter is planning 18 events each year with a mission to expand the whiskey tasting palette and knowledge of its members.

Local bars and restaurants along with liquor companies offering samples stand to benefit financially, according to Kim Ohanneson, the local chapter’s president.

“It’s a great business model for them because it brings customers to the bars,” she said.

Membership in Women Who Whiskey is free, but tickets to its events run from $15 to $35.

“It can be intimidating walking into a bar. You look at a wall of bottles and your eyes roll back in your head,” added Ohanneson, who works in development at a Hollywood studio. “The idea here is that women can go into those bars and feel comfortable ordering whiskey, which is a great drink, because they know what they are talking about.”

The next Women Who Whiskey event is a tasting at Greenbar Craft Distillery in downtown’s Arts District on April 10.

– Daina Beth Solomon

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