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Rating and Reviewing Whiskies in the WhiskyFest NY App

September 18th, 2015

wfny-appWith the updated WhiskyFest New York app (download it here), every whisky at the show 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. You 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 (you can also take photos) 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 other users to see what they’re saying. If you’d like, there’s an option to automatically re-post your Activity Feed comments — and photos — to Facebook or Twitter; use the hashtag #wfny to let the world know where you are.

Activity Feed comments are public.

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

The WhiskyFest New York App is Ready!

September 15th, 2015

The WhiskyFest New York app can be downloaded here, and if you have a smartphone and a WhiskyFest ticket, you really ought to have it.

Why? 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! All the seminars and speakers (and who they are) are here, with times and locations.

wfny-appIf you want to rate, review, or discuss a whisky, we’ve got options. You can keep private notes and reviews (and bookmark them for easy retrieval). Want to spread the word? Post your notes – photos, too! – to the app’s “Activity Feed” and share them with other attendees; or share it with the world by choosing the option to copy your Activity Feed posts to Facebook and Twitter (use the #wfny hashtag for easy grouping). You can follow your friends, or see the whole timeline in the Activity Feed.

Maybe you don’t want to take notes, or review whiskies. You just want to wander the floor and enjoy yourself, and you’re thinking, ‘What can this app do that my paper WhiskyFest program can’t?’ Remember: the program had to be printed weeks in advance. But we update the app right up to the day before, giving you the latest additions and corrections to the whisky list, right on your phone. You wouldn’t want to miss anything special!

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. It’s live, now, and you can talk with others about what you’re looking forward to! If you have questions, check out the FAQ in the app, which includes a link to contact tech support. Or you can send an email directly to support at We’ll have robust app support for you at WhiskyFest, too. There will be two “app champions” in distinctive pink WhiskyFest shirts to show you the features and help with questions. They’ll be in the foyer during registration, and then at the Whisky Advocate booth for the rest of the night.

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 the next whisky, or post your selfie, or check the seminar schedule to try some very exclusive whiskies…we’ve got the app for you. WhiskyFest!

Pope Francis & WhiskyFest: Be Prepared!

September 10th, 2015

TwitterpopeIf you’re coming to New York for WhiskyFest (or if you’re one of the proud New Yorkers who are already there), you may not know about someone else who’s going to be there: Pope Francis. New York is used to visits from dignitaries, celebrities, and world leaders, but Francis’s charisma and New World origins have made his presence absolutely magnetic, which could cause problems.

In short, city officials aren’t really sure what’s going to happen, but there is a good chance that it will be more difficult to get around the city than usual. Be smart: plan ahead. Leave extra time to get to WhiskyFest, because we’d hate for you to miss even ten minutes of the great stuff we have ready for you!


Here are Your New York Seminars! Part II

August 24th, 2015

whiskyfest_2014-1553Here are the other six of twelve seminars featured at WhiskyFest New York in September. As always, the seminars feature excellent whiskies, a great presentation, and are included at no extra charge in your ticket purchase (seats in individual seminars are limited; guests are accommodated on a first come, first seated basis). Here’s what we have.


John Dewar & Sons Fine Whisky Emporium — Gabriel Cardarella,

National Brand Ambassador for John Dewar & Sons

Taste the latest award-winning whiskies from John Dewar & Sons: Craigellachie 23 Year Old, Aberfeldy 21 year Old, and Dewar’s 18 year Old.


Small Batch Seminar with 7th Generation Fred Booker Noe, Master Distiller, Jim Beam

Taste the experimental Harvest Collection, and vote for your favorite expression from a selection of Booker’s warehouse samples.


Because whiskey matters – an overview of the “why’s” behind High West, our products, and why Utah of all places — David Perkins, Founder of High West Distillery

Why Utah? Why the products High West has? Why build a distillery in Utah’s mountains? Why do you want to sign up for this seminar? To taste High West’s core range and some as-yet to be released spirits, of course.


Laphroaig 200 Year Bicentenary Tasting — Simon Brooking, Master Ambassador for Laphroaig

Come along and join master ambassador Simon Brooking in celebrating Laphroaig’s 200th birthday with an exclusive tasting and a look back at Prince Charles’ favorite Islay’s distillery through the years.


The Most Interesting Whisk(e)y Portfolio in the World — Alan Kropf, Director of Education for Anchor Distilling Company

Taste six unusual whiskies that most have never had the opportunity to experience or buy.


Cantabria to Craigellachie: The Biography of a Sherry Cask — Craig Bridger, National Brand Ambassador for The Macallan

Track European oak sherry casks from acorn in the ancient forests of Cantabria, through barrels in the sherry bodegas of Jerez, to the earthen-floor dunnage warehouses of The Macallan. Taste new make spirit and Macallan expressions, including Rare Cask.

Here Are Your New York Seminars! Part I

August 18th, 2015

wf ny seminarNot long now until WhiskyFest New York! If you don’t have tickets yet, better step up: WhiskyFest always sells out. If you need help deciding if you’re going to buy that ticket, let us help push you over the top. Here are six of the twelve seminars we’ll be featuring. As always, the seminars feature excellent whiskies (and sometimes other drinks!), a great presentation, and are included at no extra charge in your ticket purchase (seats in individual seminars are limited; guests are accommodated on a first come, first seated basis). Here’s what we have.


Finishes and Beyond at the Glenmorangie Company — Dr. Bill Lumsden, Head of Whisky Distilling and Whisky Creation

Join Dr. Bill Lumsden as he explores the history of whisky finishing and its exciting and innovative future (with samples in both directions).


Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony — Gardner Dunn, Brand Ambassador for Suntory Japanese Whisky

Gardner Dunn hosts an exclusive tasting of the new Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony and its component whiskies.


The Magic of Malt — Denny Potter, co-master distiller, and Bernie Lubbers, American Whiskey Brand Ambassador for Heaven Hill Distilleries

The grain common among the great whisk(e)y-making traditions is barley. It’s present in all traditional American whiskeys, and it serves as the primary basis for this year’s new Parker’s Heritage Collection release. Enjoy the opportunity to taste rare, experimental whiskeys that showcase the magic of malt.


If Vikings were Whisky – an Introduction to Highland Park’s Warrior Series — Steph Ridgway, National Brand Ambassador for Highland Park

Join Steph Ridgway for a tasting of select expressions from Highland Park’s Duty Free exclusive Warrior Range.


The Legends of North American Whisk(e)y — Jimmy and Eddie Russell, Master Distillers, Wild Turkey; John Hall, Founder, Forty Creek Canadian Whisky; Robin Coupar, Seminar Moderator and Global Whisk(e)y Ambassador for Campari USA

A discussion on the traditions and processes of North American whisk(e)y hosted by the Masters of their trade.


Baijiu Demystified — Yuan Liu, Director of Business Development, CNS Imports; Charles Lanthier, Founder & CEO, Hong Kong Baijiu; Manny Burnichon, Founder & CEO, Private Cask Imports

Baijiu is the number-one selling spirit in the world, and has been an integral part of Chinese culture for millennia. Join us to gain a comprehensive understanding of this authentic, celebrated spirit before anyone you know can even pronounce its name.

One Last Week of Early Bird Pricing

June 22nd, 2015
Guess who bought his ticket in time to get Early Bird pricing?

Guess who bought his ticket in time to get Early Bird pricing?

Time’s running out: there’s only one more week left of Early Bird pricing for the New York and San Francisco WhiskyFest events! June 30 is the last day for you to save serious coin on the best whisky event in the country. Over 350 whiskies (over 400 at New York); poured by some of the smartest, most experienced folks in the whisky business; a gourmet meal; a Glencairn glass and other free stuff; and all in the company of whisky lovers like you.

You know you want to go. You know you’re going to go. Are you so rich that you want to pay extra?

No. We didn’t think so. Just click right here, and get that taken care of. We’ll see you this fall!

Father’s Day, Early Bird Pricing: the clock is ticking!

June 11th, 2015


Father‘s Day is coming fast! It’s less than two weeks away, and you don’t have time to shop, or have stuff delivered, or make him anything… WhiskyFest to the rescue! What better gift for the Old Man, the Skipper, the guy who taught you about whisky, than a ticket to the best whisky festival going! Your father will be thrilled to learn he’s going to get to try great new and rare whiskies, rub elbows with master distillers and whisky experts, and relax at the educational (and fun!) seminars.


Put Dad in his Happy Place this year!

You don’t even have to go shopping or wait for delivery; you can get them right now; just order them, then print them out. Best of all, you still have time to save some bucks: early bird pricing for the fall events isn’t up until June 30! (That’s for everyone, of course: not just Father’s Day purchases!)

So get on Dad’s good side: buy him a pair of WhiskyFest tickets (you’re going with him, naturally).

Reserved Rooms Available for NY and SF WhiskyFests!

May 13th, 2015

After three hours of this…. wouldn’t it be nice to know that your bed is only an elevator ride away?

As usual, we have made a block of rooms available in the event hotels themselves for the WhiskyFest evenings in New York and San Francisco. These rooms are only available till they sell out, or by the dates noted below.

New York: Hotel reservations for the nights of September 19 through September 28 may be made by calling 1-800-843-4898 and asking for the WhiskyFest room block, or, reserve online: The rate of $379 is good until September 1, 2015, or until the block sells out.

San Francisco: Hotel reservations for the nights of 10/28 – 11/1 may be made by calling 1-877-622-3056 and mentioning the WhiskyFest 2015 room block or, make reservations on line by following this link: The rate of $289, single or double occupancy, is good until October 10, or until the room block sells out.

WhiskyFest Chicago a big success; get ready for New York!

April 30th, 2015

_DSC0512WhiskyFest Chicago 2015 was another huge success! Expectations were high, and the WhiskyFest team delivered. There were some great new seminars: Highland Park set up a room with cocktail shakers and makers and gave participants hands-on training in creating a drink, and Glenmorangie delivered a rare chance to taste malt whiskies made with four distinctively different types of malt. Several seminars offered rare whiskies not to be found anywhere else (like a Wiser’s 30 year old at the Wiser’s blending class!). The food was up to the usual high standards of the Hyatt Regency, with treats like a new German-influenced menu (how about those brat skewers!), exceptionally fine hand-carved beef, and flourless chocolate cake. The winner of our drawing for the beautifully boxed Glencairn decanter set — Roy Parpart of Indianapolis — proudly took his prize around the floor to show it off.

_DSC0739And yes, there were great whiskies! A few of the exceptional ones included three Glenfarclas Family Casks: 1964, 1974, and 1984, and three expressions of Hibiki: the 12, 17, and 21 year old. Compass Box brought almost the full range, including a striking magnum bottle of Peat Monster 10th Anniversary and a 15 year old version of Hedonism. We had Evan Williams Red (12 years old and 101 proof), local craft distillers Koval and Few were pouring, there was a whole table full of single barrel bottlings of Four Roses, and we had to set up club-style ropes and security guards to make sure everyone got a fair shot at the full range of Pappy Van Winkle bourbons, from the 10 year old to the 23! If that wasn’t enough, we also had Goose Island pouring three Bourbon County beers: the Stout, the Coffee Stout, and the very rare Proprietor’s bottling.

_DSC0293It was quite a night. First-timers could be spotted by their looks of wonder and the way they rushed around. WhiskyFest pros spent more time shaking hands with old friends and laughing about how great it was to be there. We all had a great time, and we’ll see you back in Chicago next year! Now…we’re going to get back to work on making the New York and San Francisco WhiskyFests just as great. See you in the fall.

Mom Likes Whisky too…

April 29th, 2015

Like this, only older. And a dram. Perfect.

Last year we ran a post suggesting WhiskyFest tickets as a great gift for your dear old Dad on Father’s Day. It was brought to our attention that Mom often likes whisky as much as Dad does, and so in that spirit…

Here’s a friendly reminder for you: Mother’s Day is coming up quickly, on May 10th!

It’s always a puzzle what to get her. Might we suggest whisky? Sure, Mom loves a good dram. But do you get her that favorite bottle? Or something new? Or something rare? Or something completely different? It’s like you jumped out of one puzzle into another!

Why not get her over 350 bottles of it by getting her a ticket to WhiskyFest New York or San Francisco! You can still save $25 on her ticket (and yours, too; you’re going along, right?) if you buy now; early-bird pricing is good through the end of June. (That’s true even if you’re just buying tickets for yourself, of course…)

Picture it. You take Mom out to dinner at a nice place, her favorite, and between the salad and her broiled haddock, you hand her The Envelope: “Oh honey, WhiskyFest tickets! How thoughtful. We are going to have the best time together!”

Who’s the good kid, who’s Mom’s favorite? YOU ARE! Thanks to WhiskyFest!