Finally I'm getting around to a wrap-up of WhiskyFest in San Francisco.
The event itself was well-run, not too crowded, and with plenty of food out to keep people relatively sane (or it seemed like it anyway, I smartly ate a huge burrito just before coming so that I wouldn't need to stop drinking to eat). As I did last year, this year I stayed on the floor the whole time, missing all of the talks, and instead talking to people I know and distillers and brand reps at the booths.
In the last half hour though, people got a little wild. I've heard from multiple people that the New York event is like this, a little less professional, with some yahoos screaming for the oldest expression on the table instead of doing a proper tasting through the line. It wasn't so bad here, just a bit intensely silly at the last minute. Overall, a wonderful event.
So, on to my favorite selections of the night. These are not the best in the room, of course, but the ones I found interesting.
- Bruichladdich Infinity- the only Bruichladdich I tried (it's a crowded table most of the night), was just plain damn delicious.
- Glenmorangie Signet- chocolate whisky? Yes.
- Dewar's Signature- too expensive to be so drinkable. I have a bottle at home and I had a dram here to conserve it.
- Yamazaki 18- Same here, except I don't have a bottle at home. I know what it tastes like and I drank it because I could.
- Old Pulteney 17- I like this expression better than the 21. I could drink the heck out of this.
- A. D. Rattray (independent bottler)'s Glencadam 1990. Cask strength yet light and zesty.
In the last 10 minutes, I finally ran into Eden Algie, the Macallan brand ambassador who was working that table as well as the charity table. There, they were selling tastes of single-bottle (not single-malt or single-barrel, but single-bottle) creations by current and past Master Distillers from the brand. We did a too-fast tasting of the four in the final minutes, pouring the last dram just after the event ended. Tasting notes weren't important, as nobody else is going to get to taste or buy that whisky ever. But umm, there was some great stuff.
See you there next year.