The focus is squarely on our favorite brown spirit and the products represented are predominantly whiskies. Brandy, Vodka, liquers and Rum make appearances but are in the extreme minority.
For us, it's a whisky wonderland.
Every one of these shows has its own personality and character. Some of that comes from the format, some from the attendees and a health chunk comes from the sponsors. People like John Hansel and Riannon Walsh work very hard to keep these three forces in alignment and aimed in the right direction.
WhiskyFest is very much an industy showcase. The major players and minor importers are on the same footing here. Everyone has the same space to work with, but that doesn't imply that the presentations are at all equal.
Now that was fun!
The day was rainy and somewhat miserable, but this didn't dampen our spirits at all. We were prepared for an entertaining evening where we were part of the main draw.
Mike went down early to drop off the whiskey and to scope out the location while Mark was still working at his day job. There were many supplies that had still not ben acquired and they would have to come at the last minute like so much of this event.
There were a lot of firsts last night. Last night was the first time the CADHC had a Whiskey Bros. Whiskey Tasting at their event. This was also the first time we had done an event like this one and our first time out with the point cards. The first time I'd served whiskey in the same room with a camel was also the first time we had done a party at Long Branch Farms.
Best though, it was the first time many of our guests had tried the whiskeys we brought.
Mike spoke about our selection process for this suite, and I can honestly say that we were on the right track, but the audience was a bit of a surprise. We had assembled a list that was heavy on Bourbons and fairly common bottles, and adding in more Scotch as it became possible via donations. As it happens,this crowd was very much into the single malts. We had quite a few people that were interested in the high end stuff, more than I imagined.
Some had never tried premium single malts, others had some experience but wanted to learn more. Diageo provided us with a flavor map that helped us explain the regions and traditional flavors of Scotland better.
Back in November down at WhiskeyBros HQ, Mark and I were enjoying some old favorites and discussing what exactly belonged on the list of whiskey to bring to the upcoming tasting. It was an extremely interesting and elucidating discussion for both of us, in that it gave us an opportunity to discuss what our favorites were, and why, as well as trying to find the perfect mix to fit a western themed event. Another important factor we took in to account was the actual experience of our tasters; are these people who can tell a Highland Scotch from an Islay by the nose? Or are these people who have enjoyed the occasional Jack Daniel's or Johnny Walker when it was around, but haven't explored much? With all this in mind, and a budget besides, we set to work building and cutting a list of whiskey that would be accessible to novices while still providing something special for the aficionados.
It's amazing how much writing can pile up in a short time. Even more amazing is how much a little cut can affect one's ability to write. So this will be my attempt to catch up on everything that has happened in the last few days.
Whiskey Bros. is pleased to announce our sponsorship of the Coastside Adult Day Health Center's (http://www.coastsideadultdayhealth.org) annual Texas Hold'em Tournament. We will be hosting a whiskey tasting event to benefit the CADHC, who will be using proceeds from this event to continue their work providing care for seniors.
WHEN: Thursday, January 31st, 5pm - 10pm
WHERE: Long Branch Saloon & Farms (Google Map)
TICKETS: Poker and Dinner: $100 buy-in with $75 rebuy. Dinner only: $25. Whiksey Tasting: $25 at the event. Includes shot glass and 20 point tasting card. See below for advance purchase details.
A couple of months ago the whiskey collection here at Whiskey Bros HQ outgrew the very small confines of my liquor cabinet. My house is quite small and my liquor cabinet matches and the trouble required to get a bottle out for a taste-night was getting extreme. So I came up with a solution -- The Box.
It's a simple box now, just a record box that happened to be available at the time. It's now the home for our whiskey tasting collection. Every couple of weeks we add a new resident to the box and periodically a bottle will be finished. This will be a living page that tracks our private collection, tasting notes and reviews.
These stand head and shoulders above the rest of our collection. Either in terms of quantitative greatness, or as emotional favorites.