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WhiskyFest New York – Whisky, Bourbon, Cognac, and more

by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta
Master Blender Richard Paterson - Photo by Luxury Experience
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Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta at WhiskyFest in New York - Photo by Luxury Experience"The Spirited Travelers" aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta of Luxury Experience attended Whisky Advocate’s WhiskyFest in New York where we swirled, sniffed, sipped, and savored whiskeys from around the world.


Whisky Advocate’s WhiskyFest, held October 26- 27, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York presented aficionados with the opportunity to taste more than 250 whiskies, as well as the opportunity to meet the owners, Master Distillers, Master Blenders, and Brand Ambassadors behind the products.

Armed with our WhiskyFest canvas bags filled with tulip shaped tasting glasses and WhiskyFest programs, we set off on a journey of whisky discoveries. We began our evening by attending a private reception and tasting with Master Blender Richard Paterson of Mackinlay in Scotland. We had the opportunity to learn about his latest creation, Mackinlay’s Shackleton: The Journey, Richard Paterson’s recreation of the century old Mackinlay’s blended scotch that was created for Ernest Shackleton’s epic adventure of 1907, which was discovered buried deep under Antarctic ice over 100 years later.

Master Blender Richard Paterson

We also had the opportunity to meet and chat with renowned explorer Tim Jarvis who will be replicating Shackleton’s original journey in January 2013, using a replica of the ship, clothing, equipment, and even the food used by Shackleton and his crew.

Tim Jarvis, Edward Nesta, Chris of Whyte and Mackay - Photo by Luxury Experience
Tim Jarvis, Edward Nesta, Chris of Whyte & Mackay 

Moving on to the United States, we stopped to speak with Tom Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon in Kentucky, and sampled his Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey (90 proof) made with a blend of rye, corn, barley malt, and special strains of yeast. We also sampled Tom’s latest creation, Bulleit Bourbon Rye made with 95% rye.

Tom Bulleit and Debra Argen - Photo by Luxury Experience
Tom Bulleit and Debra Argen

Master Distiller and Founder Phil Prichard of Prichard’s Distillery brought a taste of Tennessee to New York with his selection of Benjamin Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey (80 proof), Benjamin Prichard’s Rye Whiskey (86 proof), Benjamin Prichard’s Single Malt Whiskey (80 proof), Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barrel Bourbon, Benjamin Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon, and Benjamin Prichard’s Lincoln County Lightning (90 proof). We enjoyed chatting with Phil and of course, sampling his various delectable selections.

Connie and Phil Prichard - Photo by Luxury Experience
Connie and Phil Prichard of Prichard’s Distillery

Moving on to France, we met with Alain Royer and sampled his selection of excellent cognacs including Frapin Cognac VS, VSOP, Chateau de Fontpinot XO, VIP XO, and Extra. Our friend, Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff shared the space with Alain, and created handcrafted cognac cocktails to introduce his new line of bitters, Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters with Dale’s signature ignited orange peels to release the oils and enhance the cocktail.

Alain Royer of Frapin Cognac, Edward Nesta - Photo by Luxury Experience
Alain Royer and Edward F. Nesta

Dale DeGroff - Photo by Luxury Experience
Dale DeGroff

We also "visited" Ireland, meeting with Brand Ambassador Joanne Ryan and enjoyed sampling Irish Whiskeys from Kilbeggan, Connemara, Tyrconnel, Jameson, and Red Breast (12-year, 15-year, and Cask Strength).

Brand Ambassador Joanne Ryan - Photo by Luxury Experience
Brand Ambassador Joanne Ryan

In addition, we also sampled products from Canada as well as from Japan, where we enjoyed tasting Yamazaki (12-year, 18-year), Hakushu (12 year), and Hibiki (12 year) to entice our palates, all in our continual thirst for spirits knowledge.

The Marriot Marquis did an outstanding job of catering the event, and provided a varied and plentiful, creative buffet of a delicious selection of appetizers, soups, and entrees for attendees to enjoy throughout the evening.

Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta - photo by Luxury Experience
Debra Argen and Edward Nesta 

With the wide selection of excellent products available for tasting, there was a whisk(e)y for every palate; the only problem was deciding which products you wanted to sample as there were so many products, and only a few hours for tasting.

WhiskyFest 2012 - Photo by Luxury ExperienceTo learn about Whisky Advocate’s upcoming Whisky Fest events: WhiskyFest New York, WhiskyFest San Francisco, or WhiskyFest Chicago (April 26, 2013), please visit their website: www.WhiskyAdvocate.com/Whiskyfest.

Whisky Advocate WhiskyFest
Tickets:             +1-800-514-3849

Follow Whisky Advocate’s WhiskyFest on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/WhiskyFest

Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience 

© November 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com.  All rights reserved.

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