2020 was the year of cancelled events due to the pandemic. I was definitely sadden by the cancellation of WhiskyFest back in March of 2020. Fast forward to November 5, 2021 and we were back to celebrating in person at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.
WhiskyFest is, Presented by Whisky Advocatemagazine and is the leading whisky festival in North America. Guests get to meet an array of distinguished distillers, master blenders and other whisky experts.
This was my third time attending WhiskyFest and like always I learn something new while having a great time! I love my whisky from a bottle and didn’t realize how much I would love it from a can as well. I’ve never personally been offered a can of whisky. However, the Irish whisky Two Stacks – Dram in a Can was quite tasty. It’s the worlds first 43% whiskey. It’s perfect for when you’re on the move.
I highly suggest when you attend WhiskyFest to go the VIP route. During VIP hour you can try whisky’s that are rare and won’t be available during the normal festival hours. The ones that I tried during VIP hour that impressed me were:
Four Roses – Small Batch
Heaven’s Door – Master Blenders Edition
Middle West Spirits – Sherry Finished Bourbon (Double Cask)
NIKKA – Single Malt Yoichi Non Peated
WhistePig – Small Batch Rye 10YR
If you don’t get a chance to make it to the VIP hour there’s still plenty of great selections. Some of my favorites during non VIP hour were:
Glendalough – Double Barrel
Laws Whiskey House – Four Grain Straight Bonded Bourbon
Shenk’s Homestead Sour Mash
Woodford Reserve – Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
Yellow Rose – Rye Whiskey
Also, I must note that this festival has an excellent buffet to keep your stomach full as you indulge in a wide array of whisky’s. There was only one seminar this year, but still filled with great information!
The festival, which also takes place each year in San Francisco and New York City, offers the opportunity to sample hundreds of whiskies from around the world—including single malt and blended Scotch, Irish, bourbon, rye, Tennessee, Japanese, Canadian, and craft-distilled whiskies—and learn firsthand from the experts. Distillery representatives are on hand at their pouring booths, while educational seminars, featuring their own tastings, run throughout the evening as well.
FEW Spirits had a booth and presented at the seminar as well. Earlier this year I met with the Founder of FEW Spirits, Paul Hletko, and toured his distillery. The limited edition FEW 10th Anniversary Straight Bourbon Whiskey was served during VIP hour. If you haven’t tried it, it’s AMAZING!
Whether you’re new to Whisky or a Whisky expert WhiskyFEST is a fun and educational event to attend.
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