March 14, 2013 § 5 Comments
Look out New York, here comes the Whisky Circus!
Every year during the first week in April, it feels like most of the flights that land at JFK are filled with distillers, ambassadors and adoring whisky fans (ok, geeks ;)) who all clamor into town with one main agenda: WhiskyLive NY (WLNY). It’s one of my favorite whisky events of the year, big enough that you can easily fill every second of your time tasting and chatting up the producers of different brands, but small enough where you’re not run down by a pack of over-inebriated, 18yr old + up “only” Scotch demanding drinkers. Nope, not here. Not that I’ve experienced, at least.
I’ve attended the last 3 NY WhiskyLive shows as a spectator (though last year, I presented Balcones at WhiskyLive London with Chip Tate… which was awesome). But this year will be an entirely different experience for me because for the first time at any large tasting event, I’ll be presenting Brenne! I’m so excited and it’ll be such a thrill to share my whisky with such a great group of whisky fans.
And as the kind folks at WhiskyLiveUSA often give me a coupon code for my readers, this year they really upped the ante and are offering you a 20% OFF COUPON! At check out, type in “brenne” <- it’s case sensitive! Hopefully this helps a lot of you who may be on the fence.
Now this year, for something extra special, the day following Whisky Live (April 4th) is the trade-only event: World Whiskies Conference (WCC). I had the absolute pleasure of attending this last year in London (as you might have noticed … my mug was all over their marketing material this year as many people pointed out, lol). But this event travels around the world, happening each year in a different city and this year, it’s on American soil!
Just check out the list of speakers & guests: WCC PROGRAM
I look forward to hearing all of the presentations, participating in the discussions and seeing lots of my old friends! I really can’t wait.
Any plans to attend either event? Have you been in the past? Share your experiences & thoughts below! 😀
April 13, 2012 § 6 Comments
Anyone who knows me or who follows me on twitter probably knows that I attended the WhiskyLive NYC show this past Wednesday as I was practically jumping out of my skin with excitement! And this year surely did not disappoint.
It’s one of my favorite nights of the year – a time to catch up with old friends, meet new ones and drink some seriously stand-out drams. And may I just give my sincerest apologies to everyone who I either didn’t mention here or didn’t have a chance to visit. I could have easily used another 4 hours!
My first stop was quite intriguing … Notch Single Malt Whisky from Nantucket. Notch partners with Cisco Brewers who makes a special beer for them from Maris Otter malt (which has an interesting history for a grain & according to Wikipedia, is “acknowledged right across the brewing world as the finest-quality malt available”). This beer, or wort, is then moved to the Triple Eight Distillery to distill in a small copper pot still where just the heart cut of the distillate is used and aged for 8 years in ex-bourbon and finished in French oak Merlot wine casks from local Nantucket wineries.
Now, this was a really enjoyable dram but what I can’t understand is the price. $888 for a 750ml bottle. I am sure they didn’t have the price match the name of the distillery to be cute … but I just can’t get my head around this! Remember, this was my first stop so I know my brain was still quite sharp – but I didn’t hear them mention the addition of 24k gold or a unicorn horn as a “gift with purchase” so not wanting to further interrupt the interview they were doing with Gregg from DistilleryAge.com, I snapped the above photo promised them I would be following up … and you bet I will be! Asap.
Next stop, Balvenie!
Now you know you’re a #WhiskyBadAss when you show up to an event with your own malting floor! David Stewart and team, you guys are my heroes. (If you missed it, check out my earlier post of my visit to this distillery HERE)
I always enjoy my time with the happy and wonderfully talented Balvenie crew. David and I caught up over a beautiful glass of their 14yr Caribbean Cask Single Malt which was divine. They actually bring rum over from the Caribbean in tanks – not in casks – and fill their casks with the rum for 6 months. Once they have their barrels perfectly seasoned with the rum, they remove it and replace the rum with their 14yr single malt to finish for 6 months prior to bottling. Pretty cool, huh?
Hey – are we taking each others photo!? Silly social media whisky geeks (myself included)! Smile!
The Whisky Peddler. Only available online HERE out of the World Of Liquor store in New Jersey. Unbelievably yummy. Patrick is smart. He purchased two very interesting casks from notable distilleries in Scotland; one from Glen Grant and one from Highland Park. You may ask (as I did) why buy his whiskies over buying a 14 year directly from the producer? Because for both of these malts, he purchased the casks and kept them aging only in their ex-bourbon casks – no sherry finish on these beauts – and let me tell you simply – wow. I was really happy standing here. And at $52 or $60 / bottle, it keeps me baffled by the $888 price tag on the Notch …
Off to the Cocktail’s Live area!
A toast with Kat Valentina – the fab mixologist from LA who was brought in to serve up a very tasty creamy-whiskey cocktail:
2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey, .5 oz Sambuca, .75 oz Rum Chata & 2 oz of chilled coffee
… can we say mid-show pick me up?
Whisky & chocolate – a great pairing. Lucky for us, the hyper-talented chocolatier, Roni-Sue, was there serving up her unique bonbons and pairing them with such lovelies as Laphroaig and Basil Hayden! I loved their Dark & Stormy truffle: dark chocolate ganache that features Goslings dark rum, fresh ginger and lime zest – all I tasted was pure deliciousness.
Glen Garioch paired up with Murray’s Cheese, an excellent cheese shop in NYC (and luckily right down the street from me!) to create a cheddar that pairs specifically with the Glen Garioch whiskies. HOW COOL IS THAT!? I’ll be there tomorrow picking up a good wedge for this weekend! The whiskies are great – balanced, smooth and perfectly complimented by the tangy-creaminess of the cheese. At this point, though, it was too crowded and my glass was too coated with other whiskies to get accurate tasting notes but I’ll definitely be picking up a bottle on my next Scotch-run.
Finish off with hug, dram and special (secret) Bourbon-Ball (a dark chocolate & Smooth Ambler bourbon bon-bon) from John Little, head-distiller at Smooth Ambler, and it was time for the after party!
Now I don’t know how you travel to an after party … but I’m the kind of gal who likes to arrive in style so if that means negotiating a limo ride for some whisky for myself and my beloved whisky-family, like Balcones’ Chip Tate, Compass Box’s Robin Robinson and Kat Valentina … then so be it! 🙂
Off to Ward III we went! It was another amazing night! Congrats Dave Sweet for organizing yet another stellar event! Slainte!
April 3, 2012 § 3 Comments
Oh man am I excited!!! It’s that time again – WhiskyLive is coming to NYC next week on Wednesday, April 11th.
If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet – especially all of you whiskey/spirit bloggers – do so now! WhiskyLive by Whisky Magazine is not the event to miss. With over 230 different whiskies being poured and the USA PREMIER of the CocktailsLive show (featuring whisky cocktails created by some of NYC’s top bartenders – awesomeness!) this is something I seriously look forward to year after year. I get goosebumps just thinking about it!!!
Go for the whiskies, the networking and this year for the addition of the CocktailsLive show – all included in the price of a basic ticket (and did I mention a full dinner buffet?)!
Ready for your discount code? Here you go! Just enter: ww2012 in the promo code at check out to receive 10% off of your VIP or Regular ticket. (Code is case sensitive – please note there are no upper case letters). Click HERE for more info and to see the list of Master Classes.
If you’re going to be there – let me know in the comments and include your twitter handle – I’ll follow you!
(oh, and since I know you want the inside scoop, the industry after party will most likely be at Ward III in Tribeca … but you’ll have to follow me on twitter for real time confirmation – where ever it ends up though – you can bet I’ll be there!)
September 22, 2011 § 3 Comments
Hey all of you sun-loving, whisky-drinking, dram-fans out there on the West Coast … This one’s for you!
You probably know by now that I’m a big fan of the WhiskyLive events (see other post HERE). I’m super excited that they will be opening their doors and pouring their pours at the Hyatt Regency on Friday, October 21. If you buy your tickets BEFORE OCTOBER 1st, use coupon code INFUSIONS (yes, it’s case sensitive) to receive 25% off the ticket price!!! After October 1, this code will give you 10% off.
With an event this good and a deal this deep, I just may hop on a plane and be there myself! See below for more info…
VIP Tickets: $135.00 (5:30pm – 10:00pm)
General Admission: $105.00 (6:30pm – 10:00pm)
Proudly sponsored by
Wally’s Wine & Spirits – Seven Grand and The 213 Group
All Tickets include: admission, tastings of Scotches, Bourbons, Whiskies & Craft Beers, Gourmet dinner buffet, show guide & Glencairn tasting glass
April 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
Who was there?
The classics were all there: in the blend category you of course have Johnny Walker & Chivas Regal; for the single-malt scotch lovers, you’d be disappointed not to have seen Glenlivet & Macallan there. Bourbon: Makers Mark & Four Roses…. You get the idea. Then you can get into the smaller, lesser known (or better known depending on which circle you travel in) boutique products. I’m talking about anCnoc 16yr old which is a little more spicy and has a bit more of an impact on your tongue than their delicious and very approachable 12yr. There was Copper Fox, a rocking rye that lingered on your pallet long enough to make you smile, pucker up, and go back for more. It smelled of warm vanilla (yum!) and was smooth yet bright. I was intrigued and delighted by Scott’s Selection line of products. They take some of the best casks from different distilleries in Scotland and bottle them at cask strength – no added water or chill filtering to ensure the purest form of the Scotch. What a treat! I was also really surprised and delighted to have tried Tomatin. They were sampling the 12, 15 & 18 but the surprise was the 30 year and 50 year samples that were brought over for the event. The 30yr was a special blend that included both a peated barley malt and non-peated malts. From the first smell to the moment it hit my lips, I knew I was in love. And then I was poured a sample of the 50yr. It had such depth and character – I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. This was a real treat for everyone at the event because these two products have not even been bottled yet. They literally had 2 old-school shaped bottles with hand-written labels stuck to their fronts. Just perfect.
It was a great night for the event, too. Situated inside Chelsea Piers at pier 60 with views of the Hudson River, it was just chilly enough and just rainy enough to keep you inside sipping drams and chatting your way around the tables. At the end of the evening, we walked out on the banks of the Hudson into the misty rain – for a quick moment I imagined myself in Scotland! (The imagery was probably helped by the fact that I was standing next to a group of kilt-clad men!).
I was excited and inspired to see so many women attend the event. They were right there side-by-side sipping, tasting, & exploring with the men. It was such a great evening and a truly fun event. I met some really interesting women in the business, many of whom will be contributing to this blog at some point over the next few months. A special thank you to David Sweet for organizing such a great & successful evening! I will end this first post with one quote:
“The only wrong way to drink whisky is to not!” – David Sweet
Welcome aboard, ladies.
(this blog post first appeared on FRIDAY, APRIL 8th at WhiskyWoman’s original home: http://whiskywoman.blogspot.com/)