Whisky Advocate

Rare and unique whiskies at WhiskyFest New York seminars

September 17th, 2013

John HansellIf you’re still trying to decide whether to splurge for the WhiskyFest New York seminar ticket, the six-hour whisky experience on October 12, maybe this will help make up your mind. That headline is no exaggeration: there will be unique whiskies at the event, and not run-of-the-mill uniques, either.

IMG_6113Start at 9:00 AM.The very first whisky you’ll taste is a Glenury Royal 23 year old, bottled in 1997. Right off the mark you’re tasting a 23 year old single malt from a distillery that last produced in 1983. Not rare enough, you say? How about Kininvie, the secluded “third distillery” tucked in behind Balvenie and Glenfiddich? There have only been a couple limited single malt bottlings under the Hazelwood label (but never in the U.S.), and one or two for employees and friends; we have some just for you, friend. Then there’s Sazerac 18 year old rye. So what, you’re thinking, that stuff comes out every fall! Not this bottling: this is the original, distilled in 1981, bottled in 2000. Then we cap it with a Stitzel-Weller bourbon. The stuff that’s at the heart of the oldest Pappy Van Winkle, locked up in the warehouses for over 20 years. We’ve got it, you’ll taste it.

And that’s just the first hour! How could we top that? Well, after a little interlude — just an intimate moment with legendary bourbon distiller Jimmy Russell and a one-off bottling of some of the oldest Wild Turkey anyone’s ever seen, no big deal — we will blow your minds with four unique, never-to-be-released-again whiskies. There’s an Ardbeg 1973 (presented by Dr. Bill Lumsden), the one-off Balvenie Offspring (presented by David Stewart), a Highland Park 1968 (presented by Gerry Tosh), and a 21 year old cask strength Aberlour (presented by Ann Miller). None have ever been bottled before; only these 12 bottles of each ever will be.

Remember…we haven’t even broken for lunch yet.Yellow Spot Whiskey

What else? Well, Jim McEwan has the last of this year’s Feis Ile bottling from Bruichladdich, and we have a sampling of three exceptional whiskies (from Compass Box, The Dalmore, and Glenmorangie) paired with exquisite chocolates (one presented by Chef Daniel Boulud). Then there’s that lunch, with four Taliskers and the lively repartee of Diageo’s Dr. Nick Morgan and our own Dave Broom, followed by a hot seminar on whisky trends (with the Taketsuru 21 from Nikka, and our 2012 blend of the year, Blue Hanger 6th Release) and a presentation of seven of last year’s Whisky Advocate award winners, including Glenmorangie Pride and Yellow Spot.

Still haven’t made up your mind? Wow, you’re tough. There’s one more whiskey you’ll get to taste: Master Distiller’s Unity, a bourbon blended from whiskey donated by seven master distillers from their stocks to honor Parker Beam. Parker will present it himself, and the ten bottles we’ll be pouring — for you — will be the first and only tasting of the whiskey. There are two other bottles, which will be sold together the next day at Bonhams, with all proceeds going to the Parker Beam Promise of Hope Fund. But you’ll taste it first. With Parker.

So…ready to buy that ticket now?

Top left photo: WFNY 2012 Seminar Day; Michael Gross

17 Responses to “Rare and unique whiskies at WhiskyFest New York seminars”

  1. @alligatorchar says:

    I’m looking forward to it. Just wondering how some of those scotches might color the flavor of the American whiskey tastings that follow them…

  2. Luke says:

    Alas, I’ll be visiting Glenglassaugh, GlenDronach and Glen Garioch distilleries on the day! 😉

  3. Mr Manhattan says:

    Where’s the love for SF? Reading about things I won’t be able to try on the 28th makes me depressed, not excited.

    • John Hansell says:

      Yeah, you only have 300 whiskies to choose from in SF. I feel so sorry for you. 🙂 And don’t forget that the people attending the NY Seminar day are also ponying up an additional $395 for the privilege.

      • Mr Manhattan says:

        300 whiskies to try or not (and that’s limited to what you can realistically sample in 3 hours, 4 if you spring for a VIP pass) SF lags behind the NYC event. And while there are seminars in SF, attending one comes at the price of time on the floor. There’s plenty of folks here who could and would pony up the additional $ for a full day’s worth of seminars in addition to the grand tasting at night.

        • @alligatorchar says:

          In Chicago, there were so many interesting and worthwhile choices for just Bourbon that I didn’t ever get to the Scotch.

  4. lawschooldrunk says:

    For the Sabbath observant, anyone arranging anything pre or post?


  5. alligatorchar says:

    Great seminar on Saturday! Lots of standout whiskeys. Lots of laughs.

    Hoping SF and Chicago might get similar treatment. Maybe a lunch tasting with 2-3 hours of seminar after.

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