Whisky Advocate

Whisky’s Hearts, Hands, and Brains All At WhiskyFest New York

October 7th, 2013

John HansellLet’s try one more time to convince you to take the plunge and go to WhiskyFest New York this weekend. You know Grand Tastings are wall-to-wall distillers, right? The folks pouring your whiskies are distillers, brewers, whisky experts, brand managers, people who have put their whole lives into this wonderful stuff they’re pouring for you and just can’t wait to answer your questions.

But the Saturday Day of Seminars features some of the legendary people of whisky: distillers, blenders, creators; whisky chemists, brand ambassadors who are steeped in whisky lore; and the staff of Whisky Advocate, the very best whisky writers in the world. Take a look at who’s going to be there.

In the morning, panels will include the witty and personable Dr. Nick Morgan of Diageo, who has dug deeply into the history of that company’s whisky distilleries; Ewan Morgan, also with Diageo, who’s a 3rd-generation whisky man (his dad was distillery manager at Highland Park, his grandfather the brewer at Cardhu); Sam Simmons of William Grant, who blogged with such passion that he won a whisky career; and Chris Fletcher, lead chemist at Buffalo Trace, grandson of Jack Daniel  master distiller Frank Bobo. They’re joined by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the head of whisky creation for Ardbeg and Glenmorangie; the revered David Stewart, long-time malt master at The Balvenie; Gerry Tosh, the face and voice of Highland Park;and Ann Miller, international brand ambassador with Chivas Brothers since 1996 (and her husband grows barley within sight of Ben Rinnes!).

We’ll have a bit of chocolate with our whiskies, pairing people like Richard Paterson, the brilliant blender of Whyte & Mackay with world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud; Dr. Bill Lumsden again with Roger Rodriguez of Del Posto; and blending prodigy John Glaser of Compass Box with Ryan Cheney of Raaka Chocolate. We guarantee the pairings will be up to the level of the presenters!

After a great three-course/four-whisky Talisker lunch with Dr. Nick Morgan and the equally witty and personable Whisky Advocate writer Dave Broom, you’ll sit down with David King, the president of Anchor Distilling; Tadashi Sakuma, the master blender at Japan’s excellent Nikka distillery; Doug McIvor, the man behind the spectacular Blue Hanger blends at Berry Bros. & Rudd, and Chris Fletcher again.

We’ll also have one-on-one sessions with three bona fide Whisky Legends: Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey; Jim McEwan of Bruichladdich; and Parker Beam of Heaven Hill, a total of over 150 years of experience in the industry. Each will present a special whiskey, and talk with a Whisky Advocate writer.

The day winds up with seven Whisky Advocate Award winners from last  year, presented by the writers who picked them: John Hansell, Dave Broom, Lew Bryson, Davin de Kergommeaux, Dominic Roskrow, and Gavin Smith.

It’s going to be an amazing day of whisky discussion, tasting, and just plain story-telling. The stars come out on Saturday at WhiskyFest New York!

6 Responses to “Whisky’s Hearts, Hands, and Brains All At WhiskyFest New York”

  1. Paul McIvor says:

    Wish I was in New York this weekend, John! Kudos to you all for putting on what I’m sure will be an amazing event. Thanks for being such a great voice and advocate for the world of whiskey. Cheers!

  2. Tom D says:

    I can say many things about the seminar but none describe it better than this:

    Dominic Roskrow Twerking

  3. Tom D says:

    And I should add that later in the day there was a fitting and emotional tribute to Parker Beam. May the Good Lord shine a light on you!

  4. Chris Mandigo says:

    I also was lucky enough to go yesterday. First time going to anything whiskfyest related and I consider myself a noob, but I felt the lineup was ridiculous (in a good way.) Already planning on going next year!

  5. Tom Alexander says:

    What a fantastic day of seminars and tastings – it was my second year in a row and it is truly the whisky highlight of the year! Thank you again for such a wonderful event.

    Could I make one suggestion in terms of the seminar? I love that you present the Award Winners at the end of the tasting, as many of them are very difficult to obtain. But that part of the Seminars is always the most “rushed”. Each judge says a few sentences about why they chose it, but it is not enough time to really appreciate each dram. It is ironic that what are voted the best whiskies in the world are the ones that we are given the least amount of time to contemplate and appreciate. Perhaps next year this can be improved by allowing time for each judge to lead a short tasting with the crowd, rather than rush through their brief notes. Regardless of that, an amazing day!

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