Tag Archives: tasting

Event Notice: Extravaganza Fall Tour 2010

I just received the fall tour schedule for the 17th Annual Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza. Matt and I hit New York and Atlanta during the Spring Tour earlier this year. I also received the following invitation to pass along to our readers::

Ladies and Gentlemen are cordially invited to enjoy a connoisseur’s evening featuring over 100 rare & exceptional single malt and Scotch whiskies. The evening includes a delicious dinner buffet as well as a selection of premium imported cigars for our guests’ later enjoyment. The Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza brings the discerning enthusiast the opportunity to sample the participating whiskies in a sophisticated and elegant environment with genuine camaraderie and knowledgeable representatives from each participating distillery.

All events from 7:00pm-9:30pm. Registration begins at 7:00pm. Business casual, Jackets preferred. Jackets are required at the Chicago & Philadelphia events. No denim or athletic attire may be worn to the events.

Here is the fall schedule:

Chicago
Thursday, October 7, 2010
The Union League Club of Chicago
65 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604

Boston
Thursday, October 1, 2010
The Taj Boston
15 Arlington Street
Boston, MA 02116

Washington, DC
Thursday, October 27, 2010
JW Marriott Hotel
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Philadephia
Thursday, October 29, 2010
The Union League Club of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street
Philadephia, PA 19102

San Francisco
Thursday, November 16, 2010
Intercontinental San Francisco
888 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Los Angeles
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
1700 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Fort Lauderdale
Thursday, December 2, 2010
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
1 Seminole Way
Hollywood, FL 33314

Tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 990-1991 or online here. The regular ticket price for each event is $135 but the Society is again kind enough to extend their special society member pricing of $120 on the first two ticket purchased by each of our readers. To get the special Whisk(e)y Apostle pricing use the promotional code “WAP2010” when you call or order online. If you order more than two tickets then the additional tickets are still $135 each.

Event Notice: Dewar’s Scotch, Steak, & Cigar Dinner

First, my apologies on the late posting of this event. I was on vacation with my wife last week and I’m running a little behind on blog business. I owe Matt a review or two and I owe all of you a April new release recap.

This Sunday, May 16th at 7:00 PM there is a scotch, steak, and cigar dinner being held at New York Prime Steakhouse in Atlanta. New York Prime does these dinner every so often and I think they are really neat events at a decent price. $59.95 plus tax and gratuity will get you this…

Meet & Greet with Dewar’s 12 Year Old and a Montecristo Classic Toro

First Course: Chopped Salad with Dewar’s White Label

Second Course: 16 oz New York Strip wih Creamed Spinach, Creamed Corn and Dewar’s 18 Year Old

Third Course: Key Lime Pie with Dewar’s Signature and a Saint Luis Rey Series G

For reservations contact Michael Smith at 404-846-0644

It sounds like a great event but sadly I probably won’t be there. If anyone gets a chance to go, let us know how it was.

Drink wisely my friends,

Richard

Event Notice: SMWS Extravaganza 2009 Fall Tour

Hopefully you remember my review of the Single Malt Scotch Whisky Extravaganza put on by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Atlanta this spring. Well I just got a list of their fall tour for 2009. Here’s where you can find them:

Chicago: Thursday, October 8, 2009

Boston: Thursday, October 22, 2009

Washinton, DC: Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Philadelphia: Friday, October 30, 2009

San Francisco: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Los Angeles: Friday, November 20, 2009

Fort Lauderdale: Thursday, December 3, 2009

For tickets you can call 800.990.1991 or email info@smwsa.com. For additional details and information you can find it on their website at www.singlemaltextravaganza.com.

But wait there’s more! I talked with one of the Society representatives and they graciously agreed to extend a $15 discount to our readers. When you order tickets just mention that you heard about it on Whisk(e)yApostle and the tickets will only be $115 for the first two tickets. Regular price is $130.

And you thought all you got here were reviews and the never ending blather from Matt and myself. See! Money back in your pocket. You can’t ask for too much more than that.

Did You Know #2: Beware the Burn

Did You Know…that you can burn your taste buds on higher proof whiskey?

Opinions vary about the preference for or against difference proof strengths of whiskey.  Some folks chide the 80 proof while rallying behind cask strength whiskeys and vice versa.  Regardless of your preference you should note that the higher the alcohol content the more likely you are to burn your taste buds.  It may seem really manly (or womanly if you’re so inclined) to drink all your whiskey straight all the time.  That’s all well and good when your bottles are in the 40% to 46% ABV range.  However, once you start knocking back glasses in the upper 50’s, 60’s, and heaven forbid 70’s without any water then you’re looking for a hurtin’.  I’m not talking about the level of inebriation but rather the effect the alcohol has on your tongue and it’s subsequent ability to taste.  All that alcohol “burns” or essentially numbs your taste buds to further experiences for some period of time there after.    If you are eating grandma’s okra and squash surprise (I’m from Georgia remember) then that may not be a bad thing.  But if you want to actually taste and enjoy your whiskey, not to mention subsequent whiskeys, then you need to be careful.  Sipping slow and adding a little water won’t call for an automatic revoking of your man-card.  I promise. 

On a related note, if you’re engaging in a tasting of multiple whiskies it is a generally good idea to go from lowest alcohol content to highest.

– Richard

Extravaganza

Oh the joys of the well put together whiskey event. As many regular readers know, I live in Atlanta. Unfortunately, Atlanta is not known for its happening whiskey scene. This is why I was understandably very excited about last nights Single Malt Scotch Whisky Extravaganza. It wasn’t quite WhiskeyFest but until Mr. Hansell decides to host one down here (hint, hint) it’s the best we’ve got in Georgia. And it was pretty damn good too!This particular event was held in the Venetian Ballroom at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead. It was a very nice location and easily accessible by highway, surface street, and rail transit. Registration started at 6:30 PM and when I rolled in around that time there was already a line. They processed us pretty quickly and even though the event wasn’t supposed to officially start until 7:00 PM they let us in a little early.

The event space and whiskey selection is about a third of what you’d find at WhiskeyFest NY but the crowd was about a fifth the size. As WhiskeyFest’s popularity has grown in recent times it’s begun to get a little too crowded. Last night’s event was a good change of pace. There were plenty of people there but we weren’t shoulder to shoulder.

The whiskies on offer numbered close to 100. They ranged from Dewar’s White Label to Highland Park 30 Year Old. I was particularly excited about getting to try The Glenlivet XXV and Glenmorangie Astar. The Glenlivet was phenomenal but the Astar wasn’t available in Georgia yet so we had to settle for the Signet release, of which I was also excited about.

A quick note on the whiskies: I didn’t try everything. For smaller, more directed tastings try everything. For larger events like this you have to be focused. First, you don’t want to end up a crawling drunk by the end of the night. Second, palate fatigue is a serious problem after the first 15 or 20 drams. Finally, just because it’s in your glass doesn’t mean you have to drink it all. They have split/pour buckets for a reason just like a wine tasting. I hit a couple of my personal favorites but for the most part I tried to focus on whiskies I hadn’t tried yet. I think I sampled between 25 and 30 last night.

The food was a wonderful buffet of pasta, side dishes, carving stations, and coffee with dessert. Top notch all the way.

Did I mention the cigars? Included with the whisky, free tasting glass, and the food we each got a cigar goodie bag. Included were selections from Romeo y Julieta, Saint Luis Rey, and Playboy Cigars.

Here are some of the evening’s highlights:

Best Whiskies (that I tried)
Glenlivet XXV – Simply unrivaled
Highland Park 30 Year – As good as you think it is, it is better
Chivas Regal 25 Year – Impossible to put down
Yamazaki 18 Year – If you haven’t had the pleasure, you should
Dewar’s Signature – A case study in balanced whisky

Best Food
Duck Confit Ravioli
It was freakin’ awesome

Best Representative
Laphroaig
Their rep was a true personality. We were like a group of old drinking buddies by the end of the night. He told stories, gave tips, made toasts, and fired up a huge peat block with a blow torch. Did I mention he gave us all Laphroaig peated barley to chew on?

Most Notable Personality
Ronnie Cox, Director of Glenrothes
There were mostly reps and distributors working most of the tables but Ronnie was there and he was a really cool guy to meet.

Best Freebie
Dewar’s Flask
The lovely ladies working the Dewar’s table gave away really nice 4 ounce hip flasks to everyone. If only they’d let me fill it up with Signature it would’ve been even better!

All in all, it was a great event. The $130 ticket price could have been $200 and still been a deal. Hopefully, I’ll see some of you there next year.

Cheers,
Richard