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WhiskyFest Chicago: the Big Names

April 7th, 2015

Whisky Advocates Dick Halterman (left) & Chuck (Berry-Hoover) Boles (right) warming up for the 17th Annual WhiskyFest in NYC!

WhiskyFest Chicago is only a few days away! We’ll be touching down tomorrow to take in some of the fun of WhiskyWeek before the Fest itself on Friday.

Remember: You must print out your ticket and bring it along with you to be presented and scanned at the gate in order to get into the event! Do it now, tuck it in your wallet or purse, and you’re good to go.

While you’re prepping, don’t forget to download the new WhiskyFest Chicago app: whisky list, map, ratings, social media connections, and a 10% discount on merchandise the night of the fest! Just show us the app on your phone at the Whisky Advocate booth, and we’ll take 10% off the goodies you buy that night!

Now…just to keep you excited, we have a partial list of the big names who are going to be at the booths, pouring their whiskies Friday night.

Wes Henderson — Angel’s Envy
Ian Chang — Kavalan
Dave Pickerell — WhistlePig
John Hall — Forty Creek
Jimmy and Eddie Russell — Wild Turkey
Ewan Morgan and Gregor Cattanach — Diageo single malts and Crown Royal
Gable Erenzo — Hudson
Al Young — Four Roses
Chris Fletcher — Jack Daniel
Julian & Preston Van Winkle — Old Rip Van Winkle
Robert Birnecker — Koval
Simon Brooking — Laphroaig (wish them a happy 200th!) & Bowmore
John Glaser — Compass Box
David Perkins — High West
James Robertson — Tullibardine
Craig Beam and Dennis Potter — Heaven Hill

 

WhiskyFest Chicago: are you ready?

April 1st, 2015

WhiskyFest Chicago is next week, and there’s so much you have to do to get ready! You’ve got your wardrobe to consider, and arrange to leave work a little early, transit routes to consider or Uber app to update, breakfast plans for the next morning…

But your actual WhiskyFest planning? Rest your malty brains on that; we’ve got you covered.

First step: be sure to print out your ticket and bring it with you to WhiskyFest. A ticket with a valid bar code is required for entry (must be 21)! Every year someone forgets their ticket, and it’s a sad, sad scene.

wfch-appNext: download the WhiskyFest app, if you haven’t already, and get your information in there (email, social media contacts, and so on) so you’re ready to start broadcasting your finds as soon as you hit the floor. Open up the map and plan your attack! Don’t forget: if you show us the app on your phone or tablet at the event, you get 10% off on merchandise purchases made at the Whisky Advocate booth that night!

FILL IN YOUR SURVEY!

If you just want to look at all those whiskies…click here. Pretty delicious, right?

The seminars and speakers are on the app, but if you want to see them on a bigger screen, take a look here for the most up to date information on the free and informative sessions.

When you get to the fest, don’t forget to fill in our survey. Turn in your completed survey form for a chance to win a beautiful Glencairn Crystal Decanter set in a presentation box, which will be awarded right there at the Fest.

If you’re in town before or after the event, you’ll want to know what’s going on with WhiskyWeek, when Chicago gets just a bit nuts about whisky, thanks to all the rock stars of whisky that WhiskyFest brings to town. We’ve got a schedule for you here, and we’re still adding events as they come in.

Get to it; WhiskyFest Chicago is so close, we can almost taste it. Ready, set…WhiskyFest!

 

 

The App: Rating and Reviewing

March 27th, 2015

Last week we told you there were improvements in the WhiskyFest app. We wanted to show you one of them in advance of the show so you could save some time figuring out how to use it: our improved notes feature. As we said, every whisky now has an entry, not just each exhibitor, and every whisky can be rated, reviewed, and described.

Here’s how it works. There are three ways to do it.

Rate And Review

Easily rate a whisky with 1-5 stars, with the option to add a review. We suggest that you Bookmark any whisky you rate, so you can easily retrieve them.

(iOS users cannot edit a rating or the accompanying review once it’s been submitted; Android users can edit.)

Your Ratings And Reviews are private.

Add Notes

Each whisky has a link titled “Add Notes”. When you tap on it, it takes you to a screen where you can write free-form notes. Be sure to include the name of the whisky you are writing about; that is not automatically filled into the note screen. When you tap on the “Add Notes” link from any whisky, it takes you to that same notes page, and you can continue to add notes throughout the evening.

Download the WhiskyFest Chicago AppYou have the ability to email your notes to yourself for future reference.

Your notes are private.

Activity Feed

You can write comments on each whisky and post them to the activity feed by following the directions in the whisky description area. At the end of the event, you can see all of the comments that you’ve posted to your activity feed, and you can follow people to see what they’re saying.

Activity Feed comments are public.

Try them out, and see which method you prefer… it’s your choice!wfch-app

The New WhiskyFest Chicago App Now Available!

March 26th, 2015

Download now and start planning today! wfch-app

The WhiskyFest Chicago app can now be downloaded here. Get ready for what it can do for you at WhiskyFest.

Every whisky is listed and searchable, with any and all last-minute additions, and the interactive map can route you directly to them. We have category searching: find all the bourbons, all the Irish, all the Japanese! New rating, review, and note-taking options are available (details coming shortly). And a 10% discount on merchandise at the Whisky Advocate booth the night of the event!

Download it now! It’s completely free, and there are no in-app purchases. Get familiar with the features and you’ll be ready to navigate when you get there.

Got questions about how to use the app? We’ll be posting instructions for the new features here on the blog soon. You can also check the FAQ in the app, which includes a link to contact tech support. Or you can send an email directly to support at support@doubledutch.me. And we’ll have help for you at WhiskyFest, should you need it. Just stop by the Whisky Advocate booth at the front of the ballroom.

Get started now!

WhiskyFest App Improved for Chicago!

March 20th, 2015

wfch-appComing soon…

Put WhiskyFest Chicago in your pocket with the improved WhiskyFest app and receive 10% off your purchase at the Whisky Advocate booth!

  • Every whisky listed, with any and all last-minute additions
  • Every whisky now mapped!
  • Every seminar detailed
  • Every speaker introduced
  • Map the best ballroom route from Islay to Kentucky using the interactive map
  • Find your favorite types of whiskies with new category searching!
  • Note your favorites, spread the word on the best-of-fest bottles, and check the inside information everyone else is posting
  • Post your notes and pictures to Facebook and Twitter automatically (use #wfchi )
  • Keep private reviews and notes for yourself
  • Show us your app at the Whisky Advocate booth, and we’ll give you an instant 10% discount on your purchase

All in the palm of your hand!

WhiskyFest, the first and best whisky festival, is introducing the updated WhiskyFest Chicago app, with several new features. You’ll soon be able to download it at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. It’s completely free, and there are no in-app purchases. Get familiar with the features and you’ll be ready to navigate when you get there. The interactive map allows you to quickly search for the whisky you want — by name, or by type! — and then see how to get there from where you are.

If you want to post to the wider world of social media, you won’t have to do it twice: just post to the app’s “Activity Feed” and select the option to copy to Facebook or Twitter (or both), and your words are out there (use the hashtag #wfchi ); photos, too! You’ll see all the posts on your own feed in the app, and you have the option to follow your friends and see what they’re saying too. It works like your Timeline in Facebook.

If you’re wondering, ‘What can this app do that my paper WhiskyFest program can’t?’ how about this: the program had to be printed weeks in advance. But we will make updates in the app right up to the day before, giving you the latest information, right on your phone.

Got questions about how to use the app? We’ll be posting some instructions for the new features here on the blog soon. You can also check the FAQ in the app, which includes a link to contact tech support. Or you can send an email directly to support at support@doubledutch.me. And we’ll have help for you at WhiskyFest, should you need it. Just stop by the Whisky Advocate booth at the front of the ballroom.

Don’t spend the night with your nose in your phone, of course; spend it with your nose in your glass, talking to your friends, and talking to the whisky celebrities But when you want to tell the world how great the latest whisky you’ve found is, or find that whisky, or post your selfie, or check the seminar schedule to try some very exclusive whiskies…we’ve got the app for you. WhiskyFest!

WhiskyFest Tickets? For ME? Oh, you’re the BEST!

December 12th, 2014

Golden giftieWhether you approach the holidays with a “Ho! Ho! Ho!” or a “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,” or simply a loving heart, there’s one thing that’s always true:

WhiskyFest tickets make a great holiday gift!

We know this from years of research, personal experience, and direct observation; it’s a fact. People love getting WhiskyFest tickets at the holidays, because it’s a promise of good times to come, and something they can look forward to almost all year. Get tickets to the New York (September 24) or San Francisco (October 30) shows, and you’ll have plenty of time to talk whisky, and get ready, and plan. (Chicago tickets are, as you probably know, already sold out.) It’s sure to be their favorite gift!

Is that not enough? Okay…

Ten Reasons Why WhiskyFest Tickets are Great Holiday Gifts!

  1. You never have to stand in line to buy them!
  2. One size really does fit all!
  3. You don’t even have to leave the house, just order online and print!
  4. You can hide them almost anywhere!
  5. You won’t look weird if you get one for yourself as well!
  6. It’s the only way to fit 350-plus whiskies into an envelope!
  7. They do not add to Holiday Weight Gain!
  8. What other gift comes with its own gourmet buffet?!
  9. We give you more gifts once you get there!
  10. If you forget, you can print them out at the very last minute and still look good!

What more could you ask for? Give WhiskyFest tickets this holiday season!

WhiskyFest New York 2014: Grand Success!

December 2nd, 2014

whiskyfest_2014-1409

WhiskyFest New York went back to its original one-night format this year, with seminars during the event that were open to all attendees. We also went back to a weeknight date. The results? Once again, a sold-out gala of wonderful whiskies!

whiskyfest_2014-1991The Pappy Van Winkle whiskeys returned to New York (and had a line waiting for pours all night!), and we had a bunch of new whiskies as well, like Defiant, Roughstock, and Lock Stock & Barrel. As always, the VIP hour offered some special tastes of rare whiskies. But the smart guests knew that the seminars also often offered special and rare whiskies, and came with a regular ticket purchase! The seminars were in spacious, quiet rooms, a chance to learn inside information (or maybe suck down some bivalves at the Bowmore oyster pairing) while relaxing in comfort.

whiskyfest_2014-1357The main floor was bustling, and every aisle offered something special: a new whisky, a revered distiller, an unknown distillery. (Hundreds of attendees downloaded our new WhiskyFest app — with interactive mapping, real-time chat with links to Twitter and Facebook for text and photos, and a full, up-to-the day whisky list — to help them find all of that.) Add the great food and the WhiskyFest merchandise at the Whisky Advocate booth, and it was a night to remember!

Get the New WhiskyFest App!

October 21st, 2014

blog-promo

Put WhiskyFest New York in your pocket with the new WhiskyFest app!

  • Every whisky listed, with any and all last-minute additions

  • Every exhibitor mapped

  • Every seminar detailed

  • Every speaker introduced

  • Note your favorites, spread the word on the best-of-fest bottles, and check the inside information everyone else is posting

  • Post your notes and pictures to Facebook and Twitter automatically

  • Save your notes for future reference

  • Map the best ballroom route from Islay to Kentucky using the interactive map

 All in the palm of your hand!

WhiskyFest, the first and best whisky festival, is introducing the new WhiskyFest app at WhiskyFest New York. Download it ahead of time at the Apple App Store or the Android Play Store: click here, or search on “WHISKYFEST”, or scan the QR code above, or just tap on the image. It’s completely free, no ads, and no additional purchases needed. Get familiar with the features and you’ll be ready to navigate when you get there. The interactive map allows you to quickly search for the whisky you want, and then see how to get there from where you are.

If you post to social media, you won’t have to do it twice: just post to the “Live Comment” feed, and select the option to copy to Facebook or Twitter (or both), and your words are out there (use the hashtag #wfny ); photos, too! You’ll see all the posts on your own feed in the app, and you have the option to follow your friends and see what they’re saying too. It works like your Timeline in Facebook.

If you’re wondering, ‘What can this app do that my paper WhiskyFest program can’t?’ just consider this: the program had to be printed weeks in advance. Since then we’ve added new whiskies to the list and had a seminar presenter replaced (by another presenter from the same distillery, no worries!). It’s all on the app already! We can make changes in the app right up to the day before, and you’ll have the latest information, on your phone. Got questions about how to use the app? You can check the FAQ in the app, which includes a link to contact tech support. Or you can send an email directly to support at support@doubledutch.me.

Don’t spend the night with your nose in your phone, of course; spend it with your nose in your glass, talking to your friends, and talking to the whisky celebrities WhiskyFest New York is known for. But when you want to tell the world how great the latest whisky you’ve found is, or find that whisky, or post your selfie with Willie Tait, or check the seminar schedule to try some very exclusive whiskies…we’ve got the app for you. WhiskyFest!

Final NY Seminar Descriptions and Program Available — Let the Planning Begin!

October 13th, 2014

As WhiskyFest New York comes closer and closer (October 29th is not far away!), we have the last three seminar descriptions for you. You now have all twelve available; time to start thinking about which ones you’ll take in!

WhiskyFest Speaker Rick Edwards

Rick Edwards — The Glenlivet

First, Rick Edwards, brand ambassador for The Glenlivet, will explain the huge effect that different casks and aging times have on whisky. It can’t be understated, and that’s why the seminar is called “Wood Makes The Whisky.”

david_blackmore_web

David Blackmore — Glenmorangie

The Glenmorangie seminar is also about wood, but on their pioneering work in wood finishing. Master brand ambassador David Blackmore will be tasting the seminar participants on the wood-finished Glenmorangie Extra Matured range alongside samples of the iconic wines that influence each whisky. (This points up the value of taking a break to attend a seminar: there are often whiskies (and wines, apparently) that you just won’t get to taste in the main hall, even during the VIP session.)

david-perkins-new

David Perkins — High West

High West proprietor David Perkins will be bringing it weird on an “Organoleptic Journey,” an experiential seminar featuring tastings of multiple whiskey distillates to better understand TTB whiskey regulations, whiskey styles, cut points, yeast, mistakes, and one of our weaknesses: whiskey and chocolate. This is a rare chance to taste distillate from different points in the distilling process; you can do that at a distillery, maybe…but you can do it at WhiskyFest!

Finally, the full text of the WhiskyFest New York program is now available online in PDF form. You can easily download it, read it, look at it on your phone while you’re waiting for a train (you know you will…), or print it out in oversized format and draw all over it with different-colored markers as you plan how to make the most of your evening.

Jimmy Russell, Mr. WhiskyFest

Jimmy Russell, Mr. WhiskyFest

Your plans will, of course, collapse right about the time you and your friends run into that first really amazing whisky or truly engaging personality behind the table — like this guy, to the right — but hey, planning’s fun too. Just remember: when the plan collapses, it’s not a problem. You’re at WhiskyFest, the World Whisky Capital (for a day); how bad can it be?

WhiskyFest San Francisco 2014!

October 10th, 2014

_DSC2195 Hey, San Francisco, thanks for a great time! We’re back from WhiskyFest San Francisco, held last Friday, October 3 at the Marriott Marquis, and it was a great success, even by WhiskyFest standards. What does that mean? Well, it was sold out, every exhibitor booth was filled (all 88 of them!), almost every seminar was full (twelve of them, and they were spectacular). There was a line at the Van Winkle booth all night long, the food was better than ever, and the weather was warm and clear.

_DSC2117There were hundreds of whiskies pouring — of course! — and the usual gaggle of top whisky people: distillers, global brand ambassadors, writers and bloggers. There were cocktails (the barreled cocktails at the craft distillers’ tables were excellent!), there were top-notch beers, and some great other spirits: rums, tequilas, cognacs.

Best of all were the people, the guests, the attendees — you! We don’t know if we’ve ever seen a happier, more excited, or well-mannered crowd at a WhiskyFest. Here’s what some of you had to say on Twitter, using the #wfsf hashtag:

Lou Bustamente @thevillagedrunk — Some great stuff at #wfsf tonight, including a whole range of Irish whiskies, Highland Park Freya, & more

_DSC2289@MissPaaj — Seminar time! Making new friends & learning about uncommon whiskies at #wfsf hosted by @AnchorBrewing

@VentWhiskeyClub — Also at #WFSF enjoyed #wildturkey Diamond anniversary edition. Solid bourbon. 13-16 yr blend. Rich great flavor. I’ll be buying some.

Nice job, San Francisco; we’ll be back to see you next year!