Archive for the ‘Special events’ Category

Great video of Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon unveiling

Friday, October 30th, 2009

The guys were at the unveiling this past Saturday night and shot a great video. They really did a nice job capturing the evening. (I’m also interviewed in the video.) Have a look:


And just for fun, here’s their entire uncut interview with me, discussing drinking alone vs. drinking with other people, among other things (after I had a drink or two, as I recall). Enjoy!:

Two upcoming spirits auctions featuring rare whiskies

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

The first one is by Christie’s, in New York City, on November 14th. It includes the most recent Bowmore Trilogy (Black, White, and Gold), along with many rare whiskies from Park Avenue Liquor. The press release:



goldbowmoreNew York – With the winter season fast approaching, Christie’s is delighted to announce its November 14 sale of Fine Wines and Spirits, with a special selection of spirits that are sure to ward off the chill of cold days to come.  Over 40 lots of carefully-curated whisky, bourbon, cognac, armagnac, and rum will be offered from prominent sources, including the Park Avenue Liquor Shop, one of the most respected spirits retailers in the country. 

In addition, Christie’s is honored to have been selected as the first U.S. sales site to offer the exceedingly rare 1964 Bowmore® Trilogy (pictured above) direct from the Bowmore distillery in Scotland.  An exceptional selection of fine and rare wines rounds out the sale, with recent and mature vintages of Bordeaux and Burgundy in great supply, along with collector favorites from California, Italy, the Rhône Valley, and Champagne (separate press release available).  The total sale of wine and spirits includes over 800 lots and is expected to realize in excess of $2.1 million.

View our latest wine sale catalogues online here:


The second one is by Bonhams in Edinburgh on November 18th. This one features a rare Dalmore Oculus (pictured), along with the 3,000 plus bottle collection by deceased whisky enthusiast Willard S. Folsom. Details from their press release:

Bespoke bottling created to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of whisky auction sales

The Dalmore Oculus low resAs part of Bonhams Edinburgh’s highly-anticipated November 18th Whisky Sale, whisky enthusiasts will have the unique opportunity to purchase an exceptional one-of-a kind The Dalmore Oculus, amongst other distinguished whiskies.
This rare and unique Dalmore Oculus is one of the most precious whiskies to ever appear at auction. It is both the first and last of its kind, assembled from some of the most exceptional whiskies of the past 140 years and is thus estimated to sell for a staggering £15,000-20,000.
Due to its rarity and depth of stocks The Dalmore has long been recognised as a brilliant single malt. Jim Murray, whisky guru comments it is “one of the world’s greatest and undervalued distilleries”.
This particular unique expression of the Dalmore Oculus was created by master-distiller Richard Paterson, drawing on some four decades of experience. With his intimate knowledge of the stocks, Richard Paterson fused an incomparable and brilliant assemblage, beginning with a rich spicy and orange zest core from cask 1781 (distilled in 1951), trace elements of the taste and smell of dried fruits, ripe bananas, treacle toffee and almonds from an original fifty year old are added to develop complexity. Alongside these elements, rare malts selected from vintages distilled in 1868, 1878, 1922, 1926 and 1939 add a depth of flavour. Finally, to intensify the whisky, an incredibly intense oak, spice and bitter dark chocolate long matured distillate from cask 1782 is added to the mix alongside the whisky’s ‘capstone’: a judicious amount of the revered 64 year old, proffering notes of coffee, aromatic spices and citrus zest.
Such alchemistic artistry creates a peerless whisky fusion, which is beautifully presented in a precious Baccarat crystal decanter. This exceptionally crafted bespoke decanter is decorated with an intricate solid silver iconic stag standing alongside the name of this extraordinary whisky.
Richard Paterson, master distiller at The Dalmore said: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and The Dalmore Oculus is without doubt a truly exceptional expression. This is the most exquisite expression I have personally crafted with all the loving reference it so richly deserves to seduce the most discerning and sophisticated plates imaginable. I am confident it will appeal to epicureans, investors and collectors”.
Alongside the Dalmore Oculus, Bonhams will also be selling the first section of the largest single-owner collection of whisky ever to appear at auction. The 3,000-strong Willard S Folsom Collection of Old and Rare Single Malt Whiskies has been amassed over an 18-year period and features wide ranges of Ardbeg, Bowmore, Dalmore, Glenfiddich, Laphroaig, Springbank, Kinclaith, Killyloch, Ben Wyvis, Glen Grant, Glenmorangie, The Glenlivet, Strathmill, Mortlach and The Macallan.
Martin Green, Bonhams Whisky Specialist comments: “The 18th November Whisky sale is the most interesting to take place over a 20 year period and marks the 20th Anniversary of Whisky Auctions. The inclusion of the Dalmore Oculus is an exciting addition to this high quality sale. The Folsom Collection being sold in Edinburgh, Hong Kong and finally in New York in December makes this a very interesting and progressive year for Bonhams Whisky Sales”.
For Bonhams enquiries please call 0870 0273622

There are some pretty special whiskies in both collections.

Some pics from Parker Beam’s “50 Years in Whiskey” Party

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Here are a few pictures I took from last night’s party here in Bardstown, KY, celebrating Heaven Hill’s Master Distiller Parker Beam’s 50 years in the business. Plenty of fellow distillery managers, press, etc. And LOTS of bourbon!

The pics are from my Blackberry while was tweeting, so I apologize for the poor quality.

The ProgramThe Program








The Beam FamilyThe Beam Family









ParkerParker Beam







Jim RutledgeJim Rutledge (Four Roses)









Greg DavisGreg Davis & wife (Tom Moore)








Elmer T. LeeA very blurry Elmer T. Lee (Buffalo Trace)







Kevin SmithKevin Smith (Maker’s Mark)








Paul Pacult and Jim MurrayFellow writers Paul Pacult & Jim Murray

Celebrate Parker Beam’s 50 years in the bourbon business

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Parker BeamParker Beam, Master Distiller at Heaven Hill Distilleries, is celebrating 50 years of working in the bourbon industry.

Heaven Hill has already released a whiskey in his honor. It’s Parker’s Heritage Collection “Golden Anniversary,” and it’s a fantastic bourbon. You can check out my review here.

This Friday Heaven Hill is having a Golden Anniversary party for Parker down in Kentucky, and I’ve been invited. The man is a living legend in the bourbon industry, responsible for many great whiskeys (Evan Williams, Rittenhouse rye, Elijah Craig, Old Fitzgerald, etc.). On top of that, he’s a really nice guy and good friend.

Maybe you can’t be there, but you CAN wish him well. Add a comment below, and I’ll see that he gets it on Friday night. If you have ever enjoyed any of his whiskeys, please take a moment and share your thoughts.

 (I’ll need your comments by 9 AM, Friday morning, Eastern Time.)

Here’s the video link of my live webcast with Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

For those of you who missed the live webcast at the Maker’s Mark distillery Friday night, here’s the video link so you can watch it now.

The live webcast featured Distillery Managers John Campbell (Laphroaig) and Kevin Smith (Maker’s Mark) and me at the Maker’s Mark distillery. We tasted some of the Laphroaig single malt scotch line (10, 18, 25) along with Maker’s Mark bourbon. We also taste some cocktails and food made with whiskies from both distilleries.

There’s lots of great stuff in this webcast. I think you’ll enjoy it and maybe even learn a thing or two.

Have a look. Let me know your thoughts. And let me know if you have any questions we didn’t answer.

Laphroaig, Maker’s Mark, me, tonight

Friday, September 25th, 2009

I’m heading down to Kentucky today (Friday) to the Maker’s Mark distillery. Tonight I will be joining Kevin Smith (Maker’s Mark Master Distiller) and John Campbell (Laphroaig Distillery Manager) for a LIVE webcast @ 8pm EST. We’ll be tasting some of the new expressions of Laphroaig, including the 18 year old and 25 year old, along with Maker’s Mark bourbon. You can find the complete details here.

If you’re not doing anything tonight, join us. (The two good-looking guys will be John and Kevin. I’m the other guy :) )The direct link to the webcast is here.

 P.S. I’ll be on the road most of today and tomorrow, so this will be my last blog post probably until Sunday or Monday.

Kilchoman releases first single malt Islay whisky

Friday, September 11th, 2009

KilchomanIslay’s newest distillery, Kilchoman, released their first whisky this week. (Has it really been three years already?) All the details are here on the Islay Blog.

I toured the distillery back in 2007, and the spirit I tasted showed great potential.

Congrats to Kilchoman! I’m looking forward to trying this whisky!