WhiskyFest San Francisco will be bigger than ever this year, with over 90 tables pouring more than 400 different whiskies. With so much choice, narrowing down your top picks is a must. (Read our advice about how to have an amazing WhiskyFest experience, including how to strategize your personal pour list.)
Is scotch your game? Then don’t miss these six special pours, all available to WhiskyFest attendees with a general admission ticket. (A few tickets are still available—buy yours before they’re all gone!)
Six Scotches You Have to Taste at WhiskyFest San Francisco
One of only a few Lowlands distilleries, Bladnoch went through a couple of silent periods in the last two decades, and its whisky hasn’t been widely available in recent years. Since 2015, the distillery has been under new ownership and just resumed making whisky in the summer of 2017. There will be several Bladnoch single malts, plus the Pure Scot blend, at WhiskyFest San Francisco. Try them all and see what you think!
The dark tones of chocolate malt undergird the spicy and nutty flavors of this elegant Glenmorangie. Buying a bottle of your own can be a stretch for many budgets, so take advantage of your all-inclusive ticket to savor a sip or two.
Shackleton Blended Malt
In 1907, Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton was forced to abandon his quest for the South Pole—and several bottles of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky. A century later, those bottles were rediscovered and analyzed, and subsequently became the inspiration for this blended malt from Whyte & Mackay, which scored 90 points in our Fall 2017 Buying Guide.
Old Pulteney 17 year old
A perennial favorite among fans of full-bodied, oily single malts, Old Pulteney revealed earlier this year that it is discontinuing the 17 year old due to lack of stock. While some bottles are still available, once they’re sold out, they’re gone for good. Enjoy a final pour of this stellar single malt at WhiskyFest.
Glenlivet’s Nàdurra (Scots Gaelic for “natural”) range is a departure from its core whiskies; each whisky is bottled at cask strength with no chill filtering. At WhiskyFest, you can try three different variations: Nàdurra Oloroso, Peated, and First Fill. Try tasting them side by side to compare the similarities and differences made possible through different cask types and the presence (or lack thereof) of peat.
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2017
This annual limited-edition release from the famed Islay distillery varies from year to year. For 2017, Laphroaig is offering its Quarter Cask whisky at cask strength 57.2% ABV—meaning the familiar flavors of iodine, vanilla, and Band Aids will pack an even heftier punch than usual. Finish your night with this one.