WhiskyFest Chicago 2015 Seminars
7:00 – 7:45
The Whys and Wherefores of Wheat
Heaven Hill Distilleries has produced both wheated bourbon and straight wheat whiskey for many years. In the Fall of 2014, Heaven Hill offered both a new age-stated 7 year old Bernheim Straight Wheat Whiskey and a new Parker’s Heritage Collection release of the original barrels of straight wheat whiskey from the very first run 13 years ago. Join us as we drill down into what makes wheat a great whiskey base with these new releases, as well as with an exclusive tasting of Heaven Hill Select Stock, wheated bourbon finished in cognac barrels.
A Closer Look At Malted Barley
Malted barley takes center stage as we take a closer look at four whiskies (Glenmorangie Tusail, Glenmorangie Signet, Glenmorangie Finealta, Ardbeg 10) that utilize four distinctly different treatments of malted barley. Analyze the character of each of the distinct malts in these whiskies for yourself, then sample the whiskies to experience the vital role that the barley plays in the overall flavor profile of each whisky.
Understanding the Oak; An in-depth look into the exceptional oak casks of The Macallan and their influence on every dramThe Macallan Ambassador Jason Moore will take guests on a first-hand journey from the forests of Northern Spain and the Ozarks to the cooperages and bodegas of Jerez. Enjoy the opportunity of understanding and experiencing the nuances of Spanish and American Oak with side-by-side tastings of the The Macallan Sherry Oak and Fine Oak whiskies.
7:45 – 8:30
Wood Makes the Whisky
From Aberlour to The Glenlivet, five miles away yet worlds apart. Join us as we dive into the complexities of wood management and how cask selection greatly influences the flavor profile of each spirit.
Mix, Shake and Sip! with Highland Park
Join Highland Park’s national ambassador Steph Ridgway as she teams up with Ryan Hoffman and Jess Keen, two of Chicago’s most talented, badass bartenders to present a hands-on mixology experience. Come roll up your sleeves, discover the versatility of Highland Park Single Malt and learn the trick to making the perfect smoky scotch cocktail. You’ll be the envy of all your friends.
The Most Interesting Whisk(e)y Portfolio in the World
Nicholas Pollacchi, Director of Whisky at Anchor Distilling Company, highlights the most interesting whiskies from around the world. Taste eight unusual whiskies that most have never had the opportunity to experience or buy.
8:30 – 9:15
Now and Then: The Rebirth of Canadian Blending
Now is as important a time as ever in the rich and storied history of Canadian whisky. In this unique session, J.P. Wiser’s master blender Dr. Don Livermore will guide you through an engaging and informative journey on the latest trends that have spurred on the Canadian whisky renaissance. This exploratory tasting seminar will feature tastings of several award-winning whiskies including J.P. Wiser’s Red Letter, J.P. Wiser’s Legacy, Pike Creek, and Lot No. 40. There will also be a rare opportunity to sample several of Don’s personal innovations to truly discover the art and science behind the final liquids.
Timing is Everything: The Story Behind Balblair’s Vintage Philosophy
“Our whisky tells us when it’s ready. Not the other way around.” Balblair is the only distillery in Scotland to solely release vintage whiskies. Learn about the vintage philosophy, and how Distillery Manager John MacDonald determines the whiskies’ optimum maturation point and ensures that each vintage is ‘timed to perfection.’
Laprhroaig celebrates its bicentenary this year and you’re invited to the party!
Come along and join Laphroaig’s (significantly younger) Master Ambassador Simon Brooking in celebrating this milestone by tasting some limited releases from Islay’s No. 1 distillery including a sneak preview of a special dram to commemorate the special birthday. Opinionated guests welcome!