Whisky Live New York 2006
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   

Ian Miller Glenfiddich Master ClassWhisky Live New York 2006 at Tavern on the Green offered whiskey aficionados the opportunity to sample a dram or two of close to 90 whiskies and bourbons.



One of the definite highlights of Tartan Week in New York is Whisky Live where attendees have the opportunity to celebrate Scotland through its music, dance, culture and more to the point, its whisky. Whisky Live New York 2006 was held on April 5, 2006 at Tavern on the Green, with more than 30 whisky companies participating, and close to 90 whiskies and bourbons to sample.

Edward F. Nesta enjoying a wee dram at the Dewars Stand
Edward F. Nesta at Dewars Booth

We look forward to this event each year, to meet with the Master Distillers, sample new products being brought to market, savor a few old favorites, and take the "Master Classes" that are offered that provide not only in-depth product knowledge, but usually offer cask strength tasting, vertical vintage tasting, and even the opportunity to sample rare products that are no longer available for purchase.

This year, Glenfiddich, The Glenrothes, Laphroaig and The Dalmore offered Master Classes. In between tastings at the brands' booths, we attended the Master Classes given by Glenfiddich and The Glenrothes.

Ian Miller of Glenfiddich Master Class
Ian Miller

Our ‘coursework' at the Glenfiddich Master Class taught by Ian Millar, included the opportunity to do a vertical tasting, which included their 15, 18, 21, 30, 40 and 51-year Glenfiddich. Ian told the students to respect the whisky, "Never use tap water for a great whisky. We spend 15-20 years or more making the whisky, treat it with respect, buy a bottle of mineral water." He also gave us a ‘tip' to determine if a whisky is a single malt whisky or a blended whisky; blended whiskies will not develop "tears" (or "legs") when swirled.

Ronnie Cox of The Glenrothes, said, "Whisky is about flavor and fun, but mostly about fun!" He explained the difference between a single malt whisky, which is made from one distillery, and blended whisky, which comes from different distilleries. Only 2% of whisky is bottled as single malt, and 98% goes to blended international brands. He said "Vintages are like fine wine; rare, finite and outstanding. Each vintage is created from one specific year's distillation. They have the same character but distinctive personalities." So, where does the flavor come from? Casks contribute about 70% and distilling accounts for 30%. According to Ronnie, 40% of the fun of drinking whisky comes through the nose, so to use a tulip shaped glass to fully appreciate your whisky; never a rocks glass and never over ice. The Glenrothes vintage tasting included their 1991, 1987, 1984 and 1972.

With more than 30 whisky companies pouring wee drams, it was difficult to visit each and every booth, but we tried! With close to 90 whiskies and bourbons at Whisky Live from Scotland, Ireland, Japan, and even from San Francisco and Kentucky, there was something for everyone's taste and wallet, from single malts to blended whiskies, to big bold peaty whiskies, available in price ranges from mid-range to ultra-premium.

Yamazaki Whisky  
Yamazaki Team at Whisky Live 2006 - Shin Adachi, Marjanka Amari, Mitsu Kawamoto

Shin Adachi, Marjanka Amari, Mitsu Kawamoto

Ultra-premium whiskies included Suntory Limited who brought their award-winning Suntory Single Malt Whisky "Yamazaki" Aged 12 Years and their award-winning Suntory Single Malt Whisky "Yamazaki" Aged 18 Years for tasting, and as a real treat for whisky aficionados, they also brought their Suntory Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky - Sherrywood 1982, which is not available in the United States.      

It was a delicious evening of tasting and music, as the bands the Peatbog Faeries, the Finlay MacDonald Band and Mac Talla Mor kept the Celtic music flowing throughout the evening. If you can't make a trip to Scotland this year, you can always experience Scotland a wee dram or two at a time at one of the upcoming Whisky Live shows in Glasgow, Paris, Toronto, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tokyo, London or New York. For additional information: contact Whisky Live.


Peatbog Faeries at Whisky Live 2006
Peatbog Faeries

© June 2006. Luxury Experience. www.luxuryexperience.com. All rights reserved.