Whiskey Fest 2012 - Love this!

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     Ahhh Whiskeyfest 2012, how do I love thee? I’ve known about WF events for a few years but this is the first chance I’ve had to actually attend.

Thanks to my my current internship at an upscale wine and spirits shop in Manhattan I was able to get a ticket to Friday night’s Grand Tasting Event. And what an event it was!


Since the event was being held the weekend prior to Halloween in the heart of NYC the subways in were… strange. All sorts of clothing options (and lack thereof) and just overall strangeness. Thankfully I was able to make it into town without incident and made my way into the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square. I’ve walked past this building dozens of times and never walked in before. Inside was an ultra-modern, super architected hotel lobby with some nice signage pointing me up to the third floor where the event was being held.


I arrive early, registered and then sat down at the buffet table to go through the itinerary and such. I sat next to two nice gents who were there less as professionals than as ardent fans. Once we were let in the doors you could literally smell the malt on the air, and what a fragrance that was. The showroom was huge, crowded and loud and perfect for this event.


I already had with me a list of the malts my store sells so I knew which booths I wanted to hit on the earliest. If the truth be told in an event like this you can only really taste the first four or five whiskeys you sample. The drink itself is just too aggressive on the palette and the mouth for you to really be able to taste things later on down the line. Sure, you can still get broad overviews of the tenth or twentieth drink but you’ve lost your ability to grasp the experience with any finesse.


Not like that was going to stop me, mind you! I started making the rounds and talking and chatting with the scotch/whiskey/bourbon crowd and had an absolute blast. Met several new folks and several new whiskeys. My favorites were the Abelour lineup and Compass Box’s Peat Monster. Hudson Valley Distilling had some interesting takes on moonshine (their corn whiskey) and four-grain spirits. I am hoping to be able to take a day trip upstate to interview them soon!


The personal highlight was getting a call from my dad and telling him where I was. He and I are already planning on being here next year!