If you’re a regular Bulletin reader you might think I drink nothing except beer, but that’s not at all true. I enjoy many different alcoholic beverages such as wine, especially heavy reds and fortified wines like Late Bottled Vintage Port, along with sake, hard cider, gin and other spirits. But I’m especially fond of whisky and, naturally, single malt scotch though I don’t generally write about it because my knowledge of it is restricted to that of happy amateur. I’ve skimmed Michael Jackson’s book Whisky, Jim Murray’s and a few others but generally I leave it to the experts. Happily, I know a few of them. One is John Hansell who’s been in the business for going on twenty-five years now and for many of them has been publishing Malt Advocate magazine, undoubtedly the best American whisky periodical. He also recently started a blog on the world of whisky called What Does John Know? My good friends Stephen Beaumont and Lew Bryson also write regularly for Malt Advocate.
Malt Advocate has been putting on tasting and educational events called WhiskyFests in New York and Chicago for a number of years, and this year they’re finally coming to San Francisco. WhiskyFest is exactly like it sounds, a festival where you can sample whisky and other libations, but it also includes an educational component with a number of speakers. And not only that, it will be the biggest whisky event in the country. If you love whisky, join me at WhiskyFest. It should be a blast.
It will take place in three weeks, on October 23 from 6:30-10:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency at 5 Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco. Tickets are $105 for regular admission or $145 for VIP admission, which gets you in an hour earlier. Tickets include all sampling, speakers and a gourmet buffet. You can get advance tickets online at Malt Advocate or by phone at 800.610.MALT.
From the website:
What will be poured?
More than 250 of the world’s finest and rarest whiskies will be available for sampling, featuring premium single malt and blended Scotch whiskies, the best bourbons and Tennessee whiskeys, top of the line Irish whiskeys, Japanese whisky and the best from Canada. Visit Malt Advocate for an up-to-the-minute list of what will be available for sampling.
Who will be speaking?
The focus is on education, and many well-known distillery managers and distillery representatives will be on hand at the pouring booths to explain how the whiskies are made. Thirteen of the world’s leading distillery managers and master blenders will be conducting seminars throughout the evening including:
- Stephen Beal, Master of Whisky, Classic Malts
- Parker Beam, Master Distiller, Heaven Hill
- Simon Brooking, Global Brand Ambassador, The Dalmore & Laphroaig
- John Campbell, Distillery Manager, Laphroaig
- Ronnie Cox, Director, The Glenrothes
- John Hall, Whisky Maker, Kittling Ridge
- Lincoln Henderson, Whisky Expert, Suntory
- Ian Millar, Master Distiller, Glenfiddich
- Chris Morris, Master Distiller, Woodford Reserve
- Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s Great Grandson
- Richard Paterson, Master Distiller, The Dalmore
- John Scharffenberger, President, ScharffenBerger Chocolate
- Joy Spence, Master Blender, Appleton Rum