WhiskyFest New York Delivers
We promised you a lot for WhiskyFest New York, right here on this blog, and now that it’s done, we’re here to let you know: we delivered!
We told you there would be over 300 whiskies at the grand tasting: over 375 were offered, by the master distillers, blenders, and global and national brand ambassadors! If that wasn’t enough, there were also whisky cocktails, a small selection of excellent beers and other spirits, and a ballroom full of fellow whisky fans.
We said there would be unique whiskies at the seminars, presented by some of the top names in the industry: you got 23 year old Kininvie, 21 year old Stitzel-Weller, cask strength 21 year old Aberlour, a 1968 Highland Park, 1973 Ardbeg, and a Balvenie blended malt. Top names? You heard David Stewart, Dr. Bill Lumsden, Richard Paterson, John Glaser, Ann Miller, and Tadashi Sakuma, and the Whisky Advocate writers, and you heard them ribbing each other, and revealing the deep knowledge they have of whisky and how it’s made.
If that wasn’t enough, we had some very personal moments with three whisky legends. Master Distiller Jimmy Russell told us how things were when he started in 1954, and shared an unreleased 12 year old Wild Turkey. Bruichladdich master distiller Jim McEwan shared some stories, and led the audience in a boisterous Highland toast with this year’s Feis Ile bottling. And we saw Heaven Hill master distiller emeritus Parker Beam and Whisky Advocate publisher John Hansell struck speechless by emotion as Parker made what is likely his last WhiskyFest appearance, and led us in a toast with the unique Master Distillers’ Unity bourbon.
Seminar ticket holders were told they would taste seven Whisky Advocate Award-winning whiskies; you not only got to sample our top American, Irish, Lowland, Highland, Islay, Canadian, and craft whiskies, they were presented by the Whisky Advocate writers who chose them, with insight on why those whiskies won.
We promised you lunch with the seminars, and you got it, along with four Taliskers (including the 25 year old and the new Storm), with a rare bonus: Talisker new make. Then Dave Broom and Dr. Nick Morgan explained what makes Talisker unique, and why it can’t really be made anywhere else, a terroir tour de force. (Even if you couldn’t make the seminars, attendees of the grand evening tastings got a fantastic open buffet with something to suit every appetite.)
There are other whisky events out there; you could spend your money on them and go to them all. But they aren’t like WhiskyFest New York. We promise you the world of whisky…and we deliver!