Whisky Advocate

WhiskyFest video and information

January 26th, 2009

In my last posting, Tom Splitsberg was asking about WhiskyFest Chicago because he’s never been to a WhiskyFest before. I tried explaining it briefly in the thread, but we just put together a brief video of last year’s event (which looks pretty cool), so I though I would just include it here for anyone who’s never been to a WhiskyFest and is curious about what one looks like.

You can also check out our website here for more details and ticket information. We’re also preparing a blog devoted specifically to WhiskyFest (and a newsletter too). Details on both will be on the Malt Advocate website as they become available.

In the meantime, for those of you who have been to a WhiskyFest and want to offer Tom your take on it, feel free to comment.

15 Responses to “WhiskyFest video and information”

  1. Håvard Eide says:

    Just a note to people that haven’t been to one: I attended http://whiskyfestival.no/ (Oslo, Norway ) in 2007 and 2008 and if you are interested in whisky you definitely should attend one ( no matter where you are ) if you get the chance! The festival in Oslo had a representativ over from Ardbeg in 2007 serving us 7 types of Ardbeg ( including new make ) in a masterclass, so if you are new to whisky or want to explore a brand/direction those are a true gem!

    Just show up early, talk to people and enjoy ( but do remember to fill up with some water and food if you stay for a while )

    On the video: loved the casks sitting next to the table, cask strength?

  2. Bryan C says:

    Nice video John. For someone who attended WhiskFest in SF last year I can say this is a good representation of the event. Good times, good food, and good whisky… what else can you ask for? I look forward to another one this year (assuming the economy allows it)

  3. John Hansell says:

    Thanks Bryan. The only thing I think is missing is some pictures of the seminars, which are always fun to attend (and no extra cost).

    And you can count on WhiskyFests again this year. We signed contracts with the same hotels for NY, Chi, and SF for 2009, and we already have most of the whisky companies signed up. And we’re keeping the ticket prices the same as they were in 2008. So, come and join us.

  4. Bryan C says:

    You are right the seminars were great. I enjoyed the one that pitted the US, Scotland, and Canada against each other in terms of whisky making and history.

    I was more referring to the economy allowing me personally. This type of luxury spend is what people are having to cut back on in these tough times, me included!

  5. John Hansell says:

    Bryan, I hear ya. That’s why we’re not raising prices. We’ll just have to make our events even better this year to make it worth your while.

  6. lawschooldrunk says:

    nice jazz drumming.

    school always stops me from attending the festivals. maybe this year I can pull it off…

  7. Sol R says:

    I think many of us are hoping that the economy will allow us to attend again in 2009 (for me, I buy tix for clients and book a limo home, so it’s a real luxury night). I’ve attended NY since 2005, and it’s a great way to get a heads up on what will be released in the coming year, and have a chance to taste it. Each year there have been whiskies I started looking for the day after whiskeyfest, and whiskies I decided to avoid. It’s loads of fun, and the clients that I buy tickets for invariably love it.

    Oh, and this year was the first time I attended a seminar – the Methuselah Myth re aging bourbon, and it was highly informative – I am very glad I attended.

  8. Hi John,
    Nice video! I always enjoy festivals, as it’s a great place to make new friends with the people working in the whisky industry and those attending, and catch up with old friends too, and all while enjoying great whisky and learning more. I have found it’s best to attend local festivals, as it best serves your individual market. Though attending other festivals not dealing with your market can also be fun since distillery managers or ambassadors, or others that deal with the world whisky market, might also be there. It’s just nice to enjoy a festival with like-minded individuals, taste lots of different whiskies, and learn about them directly from those involved.

  9. John Hansell says:

    LSD, Maybe this is your year.

    And let me say this to everyone out there considering going this year. I know that times are very tough and cash is tight. If you come to WhiskyFest, we will do our best to make every dollar you spend worth your while.

  10. J.D. says:

    I’m not sure you’re looking for “war stories”, exactly, but I thought I’d pass mine along just the same. I’ve been to two WhiskyFests, one in Chicago and one in New York. I had a great time at both, but I have to say that my first one was definitely a learning experience. I had a little too much of the “kid in a candy store” mindset–and that led me to have a little too much whisky too. By the end of the night my taste buds were shot (though I guess that’s inevitable) and I was definitely not getting the full benefit of the many opportunities for sampling fine spirits.

    The next time, I made a plan and I ruthlessly stuck to it. I avoided the myriad temptations (they’re everywhere at WhiskyFest!) and carefully tasted only a short list of whiskies that I really wanted to sample. That approach helped a lot, and I had better (and more productive) time as a result. And I got through my list early enough in the evening to try some other stuff as well.

    Both times, I made some great finds I probably would have otherwise missed, which led me to go out and buy them. And both times, I sampled some expensive stuff that I was thinking about buying, but decided that they weren’t really my thing and that my whisky budget was better spent elsewhere. This alone made it well worth the cost of admission (at least to me).

    I don’t know if it’s too late to influence the activities at the upcoming Chicago fest (which I am going to attend again), but I’d really like to see some more microdistilleries. It would be great to have a seminar with several of them in attendance, explaining what they do. I’m not sure what you can do, John, to encourage more of them to show up–but FWIW I think it would add a lot to the evening.

  11. John Hansell says:

    J.D., Thanks for sharing your experiences with WhiskyFest. Yes, it’s always best to have a game plan going into WF because there are too many whiskies to taste. And BTW, we love what the microdistillers are doing and are embracing them. There will be some in Chicago. Hope to see you there.

  12. Tim Spitsberg says:

    Of course the one day I DON’T read the blog, John takes my slightly off-topic question and makes it a new post…damn those semester grades being due.

    A big thank you for the video, the links, and everyone’s thoughts…certainly looks like my kind of event. Looking forward to the WF blog/newsletter, too…

    Thanks again, John, for going the extra mile; it was far more than I expected a few days back…now I may have to attend WhiskyFest AND subscribe, too :)…Tim

  13. John Hansell says:

    Tim, that’s what you get for missing a day! ;)

    Sign up for WhiskyFest. Everyone gets a copy of Malt Advocate at the event. You can then decided if you want to subscribe after reading the magazine. (I think you will.)

  14. B.J. Reed says:

    Nice to see our Omaha group in the video! – Can’t wait till April 1st – Hope for lots of surprises :)

  15. John Hansell says:

    It’s always a pleasure seeing the Dundee Dell gang. And only two months away!

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