Scofflaw’s Den was founded in 2007 by T. Marshall Fawley III and Sean Michael “SeanMike” Whipkey. They began the site as an “online speakeasy of potent potables and other pabulum.” The term “scofflaw” is itself a by-product of America’s foray into Prohibition during the early part of the 20th century to describe someone who bought or consumed the illegal liquor of the times. Marshall and SeanMike became friends in 1994 as students at the University of Virginia thanks to a mutual interest in music and their membership in the Virginia Pep Band. Soon they discovered other mutual interests which included a deep affection for bourbon – one shared with many of their classmates – and for cigars. Flash-forward a decade or so and the two found themselves living in the burgeoning metropolis of Washington, D.C., specifically the Northern Virginia area.
Marshall took the time to introduce SeanMike to the online cocktailian community while SeanMike returned the favor by further dragging Marshall deeper into the online world. From the meager beginnings on LiveJournal to the most recent digs you see now, Scofflaw’s Den has grown exponentially throughout the years. As the site has grown, so have it’s creators Marshall and SeanMike. The “OS” (“Original Scofflaws”) have completed the Pernod-Ricard BarSmarts Wired training course to become alcohol and spirit educators and fledgling bartenders. They have been published in various websites, cocktail magazines and recipe books such as the Washingtonian, Imbibe, Mutineer, Market Watch and the 2009 Tales of the Cocktail Recipe Book. In February 2012, Marshall began offering public and private cocktail classes at various bars in and around the DC Metro area. What’s in store for the remainder of 2012 and the the years to come? Stay tuned to find out!
“Scofflaw, Intoxicologist, Writer, Engineer, and Drinker”
SeanMike managed to find his way into IT much the same way he finds himself in many positions – randomly and thanks to a little help from his friends. Following that up he ended up initially picking up what he called his “second job” writing video game reviews for a site called GamersInfo.net. A while after that, he got into what he used to call his “third job” working with Marshall on Scofflaw’s Den but now has reversed those two positions for his copious amounts of free time.
SeanMike tries not to look down his nose at any beverage or food that comes his way, willing to give anything a shot at least once. His philosophy is “just because you like good things doesn’t mean you have to give up the bad things.” Coupled with another philosophy of “those that drink together, stick together” means you can find him swapping between beer, wine, and liquor interchangeably over the course of an evening, often with a cigar or two in there, and always willing to give something new a chance.
He picked up in college with the standard experiences, including occasionally helping friends brew their own beer and randomly getting the chance to try real moonshine. He tends not to make as many new ingredients as Marshall – part of the penalty of living with roommates (a brother and future sister-in-law) but being an obsessive collector means his bar is constantly growing. He came into cocktails with the thought of “I need a new expensive hobby” and wow, did he find it. When it comes to the rest of it, SeanMike tends to enjoy just sitting behind the bar, making drinks with friends and trying to get them to try cocktails they may not have considered in the past. He also greatly enjoys getting out to visit the various haunts, speakeasies, bars, and other wondrous places in DC, Virginia, and elsewhere to see what others are doing – and what he can get to help make his at-home bar even better.
An attorney by training and the progeny of a family of moonshiners, Marshall devotes a majority of his free time to the creation, collection and education in the cocktailian arts. An avid bourbon fan since his undergraduate days at the University of Virginia, Marshall has grown to adore and appreciate all other forms of spirituous libations. An avid concoctioneer, Marshall makes a variety of his own bitters, syrups and infused spirits for use in his home bar and local craft cocktail bars. Whether his own creations or tried and true recipes, Marshall believes that the home bartender must use the best and freshest possible ingredients in order to create not only a memorable cocktail but an experience guests won’t soon forget.
Marshall prides himself on learning the history of a spirit or cocktail and will be more than happy to hold court to espouse the same (sometimes solicited, most of the time not.) In that vein, he has begun teaching public and private cocktail classes in various bars throughout the DC Metro area. Marshall enjoys experiencing new bars, spirits and cocktail and is very outspoken with his opinions, good and bad, based on his experiences. Marshall is honored and privileged to co-host The Scofflaw’s Den and to help provide a Virginia and DC voice to the greater cocktail community.