In our continual quest for whisky knowledge, "The Spirited Travelers" aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta attended Whisky Live, "The World's Premier Whisky Tasting Show," an evening of tastings, seminars, great food, and live entertainment held at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York.
On April 11, 2012, Whisky Live in partnership with Visit Scotland presented an international evening of whisky tastings at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers, at 23rd Street on the Hudson River in New York that included whisky from the heart of Scotland, Irish whiskey, Canadian whiskey, American whiskey, and Swedish whisky.
Edward Nesta at Whisky Live 2012
Single malts, blends, some with little to no peat, others heavy with smoky peat, there was a style to appeal to every whisk(e)y connoisseurs' palate, and with pricing ranging from moderate to ultra-luxury, one limited edition whiskey carried a price tag of around $800, there was a price point for every wallet.
Whisky Live guests had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with master distillers, family members, and brand ambassadors to learn about the diverse selection of products through tastings, cocktails, as well as by attending one of the many master classes.
Cocktails Live at Whisky Live
We made the most of our time and had an informative conversation and tasting with Evan Cattanach, Master Distiller Emeritus, who spent 33 years working as a master distiller and created the brands Caol Ila, The Singleton, OBAN, Cragganmore, Talisker, Dalwhinnie, Lagavulin, Clynelish, and Glenkinchie. If anyone knows a thing or two about making whisky, that would be him.
Evan Cattanach and Debra Argen
We spoke with Stephen Marshall, Senior Global Brand Ambassador for John Dewar & Sons who presented Dewar's products dressed in Scottish kilt, as did a number of master distillers and brand ambassadors from Scotland.
Stephen Marshall, Brand Ambassador for John Dewar & Sons
The spirits presented though, went well beyond the whisky category, and expanded to include the categories of bourbon, cognac, rum, gin, vodka, and liqueur at the show, to appeal to as many palates as possible. We tasted products with exceptionally long histories as well as new-to-market products.
Cocktail Live Pouring Knob Creek
We had a great time chatting with Hollis Bulleit, 6th Generation Family World Ambassador of Bulleit Distilling Company in Kentucky, who dressed in period costume and wore a silver bourbon decanter tag as a necklace, to present Bulleit Bourbon and their latest spirits release, Bulleit Rye, which they launched in 2011.
Hollis Bulleit, World Ambassador of Bulleit Distilling
Rum connoisseurs had the opportunity to meet Ben Jones, a descendant of Homère Clément, who presented a full complement of his exceptional aged rhum agricoles from Martinique which we enjoyed tasting and included Rhum Clément XO, Rhum Clément Cuvée Homère, Rhum Clément Rhum Vieux Agricole V.S.O.P. Rum, and Rhum J.M. Vieux .
Ben Jones, Brand Ambassador of Rhum Clement
The Celtic Rock and Bagpipe band, MacTalla Mór' consisting of family members Patty Devlin Ofgang, Jesse Ofgang, Levon Ofgang, MageErik Ofgang, and Harry ‘Dr. O' created a compelling musical background to complement the swirling, nosing, and spirits tasting throughout the evening. Delicious food, cheeses, and chocolates to pair with the various whiskies, as well as cigars, rounded out the evening's festivities.
Levon Ofgang Patty Devlin Ofgang MageErik Ofgang
First time American exhibitors this year at Whisky Live in New York included Balcones Distilling from Texas, Breckenridge Distillery from Colorado, Corsair Distillery from Tennessee, Dry Fly Distillery from Washington state, Finger Lakes Distillery from New York, House Spirits Distillery from Oregon, Smooth Ambler Spirits from West Virginia, Triple Eight Distillery from Massachusetts, and WhistlePig from Vermont.
Other first-timers included Fluid Dynamics, French Luxury Spirits who presented cognacs, whisky, and calvados, Mackmyra Swedish Whisky, Rhum Clément & Rhum J.M. from Martinique, and RumChata.
Jonathan Luks, Brand Ambassador of Mackmyra Swedish Whisky
Returning exhibitors included Aberlour, Amrut Distilleries, Ardbeg, Balblair, Bellhaven Brewery, Bulleit Bourbon, Bushmills, Canadian Club, Caol Ila, Classic Malts, Crown Royal, Dewer's, Four Roses, George Dickel, Glenfiddich, Glenglassaugh Distillery, and Glenmorangie.
Mary Anne Byrne, Brand Ambassador of Red Breast Irish Whiskey
Also returning to Whisky Live was High West Distillery, Johnnie Walker, Knob Creek Bourbon, Laphroaig, Longmorn, Maker's Mark, Michter's Bourbon, Notch Whiskey, Old Pulteney, The Balvenie, The Glenlivet, The Singleton, The Small Batch Bourbon Collection, and William Grant & Sons.
The Glenlivet Pouring
We left a memorable evening of Whisky Live accompanied by the music of bagpipes wafting in the air. Slàinte mhah (pronounced slanj-ja vah), which means, "to your good health" in Gaelic.
The Pipes are Calling - See you at Whisky Live
Whisky Live has other upcoming events in the United States taking place in Boston, Massachusetts on September 22, 2012, and in Los Angeles, California on October 17, 2012.
Whisky Live also has international events taking place in Sydney, Australia; Casino de Spa, Belgium; Shanghai, China; Paris, France; Leiden, Holland; New Delhi, India; Tokyo, Japan; Moscow, Russia, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; Singapore, South East Asia; Seoul, Korea; Barcelona and Madrid, Spain; and Taiwan, Taipei.
Regarding attending or exhibiting at any upcoming Whisky Live event, please visit the website: www.WhiskyLive.com/.
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