The world’s premier whiskey tasting event, Whisky Live, dropped anchor in New York this week, bringing along dozens of whiskey brands and hundreds of different individual whiskeys, along with live music and a dinner buffet, to Chelsea Piers’ Pier 60. For whiskey connoisseurs and casual aficionados alike, it was an abundance of riches.
Whisky Live, which brings the show to 21 different countries (New York, Washington, Louisville, and Los Angeles in the U.S.), allows guests to sample more than 300 different whiskeys at 70 different tables staffed by distributors, brand managers, regional sales representatives, and in many cases the distillers themselves. Each has a wealth of knowledge about the products on offer, and is eager to walk guests through the distillation process and brand background.
Whiskeys at Wednesday’s New York event included local New York craft offerings like Breuckelen, Widow Jane, Hillrock, and Black Dirt and bourbons including Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Bulleit, Michter’s, Maker’s Mark, and smaller-batch distilleries like Dry Fly, Virgil Kane, and Calumet. Scotch whisky was also well-represented; Johnnie Walker was pouring its entire portfolio (including the sought-after Blue and new limited edition Select Casks); Glenmorangie poured several varieties including its newest release, the hard-to-find Milsean; and other standouts included Usquaebach, Ardberg, Balblair, Aberlour, and Caol Ila. For those in the mood for a cocktail, bartenders from notable cocktail bars including Ward III and the Flatiron Room were mixing things up, and a VIP room offered a selection of higher-end and rare whiskeys.
If you’re a whiskey-lover, this is one annual event that should definitely be on your radar. The next Whisky Live will be held March 5 in Washington, it comes to Louisville on June 18, and the New York installment will come back around next year.