San Francisco WhiskyFest 2016
In the beginning, the whisky VIPs awaited the doors to open. The attendees had their whisky to sample listings in hand. The whisk(e)y tasters had 375+ whiskies to test based on the event whiskey list.
In addition, the VIPs had the opportunity to sample over 45 VIP pre-determined whiskies. For this purpose, we will discuss doors opening for start whisky fest, VIP whiskies and pricing, and Glenmorangie education and tastings. Finally, a summation on the San Francisco WhiskyFest 2016.
First, the starting hour of the San Francisco WhiskyFest 2016 was reserved for whisky VIPs. However, an exciting night is planned for all whisky lovers. Because approximately 300+ whisk(e)y lovers are savoring all the fine whiskies being sampled.
I initially joined the Old Pappy Van Winkle sample line and immediately stepped out of the line. However, once I realized the length of the line, I changed my mind about tasting Old Pappy Van Winkle whiskey. Based on previous research of “Old Pappy,” the sample bottle would probably be empty by reaching the booth.
Since there were still 3 hours to go at the WhiskyFest, I paced myself with numerous whisky samples. Further, I picked new whiskies not previously tasted at past events and fit in a couple of seminars.
Unfortunately, I could not pair whiskies and food due to the extensive selection of food dishes. Nevertheless, the food spread was fantastic since it provided the attendees with enough subsistence to substance a night of whiskey drinking.
VIP Whiskies with pricings
Secondly, the VIP whiskies sampled at this moment:
Note: All approximate retail prices were calculated in 2016.
- Aberlour 18 yr. and A’bunadh Scotch whiskies (approximate retail cost ~ $90.00 and $70.00 respectively)
- Forty Creek Founder’s Reserve
- Glen Grant Five Decades (approximate retail cost ~ $150.00)
- Glenfiddich 26 Year Old (YO) (approximate retail price ~ $460.00)
- The Glenlivet 18 and 21 YO (approximate retail price ~ $85.00 and
- Highland Park 18 YO (approximate retail price ~136.00)
- The Macallan Reflection (approximate retail price ~ $1500.00)
- Old Pulteney 17 and 21 YO
- Usquaebach’s An Ard Ri Cask Strength Flagon
As far as the non-VIP whiskies went, I forced my taste buds to endure the following whisk(e)y samples. In addition, I also provided the approximate retail price for a 750 ml whiskey bottle.
Note: All approximate retail prices were calculated in 2016.
- Aberfeldy 12 YO (approximate retail price ~ $40.00)
- Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon (approximate retail price ~ $57.00)
- Elijah Craig 18 and 23 YO Single Barrel (approximate retail price ~ $150 and $230 respectively)
- Glen Grant 10, 12, 16, and 18 YO (approximate retail price ~ $48, $49, $80 and $160 respectively)
- Glenmorangie Signet Whisky (approximate retail price ~ $220.00)
- GlenDronach 12 YO (unknown at the time)
- Glenfiddich 18 and 21 YO (approximate retail price ~ $200 and $460 respectively)
- Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 YO Whisky (approximate retail price ~ $95.00)
- Glenmorangie Tarlogan Single Malt whisky (Travel Retail) (provided during the seminar)
- Highland Park Dark Origins (approximate retail price ~ $90.00)
- Kavalan Ex-Bourbon Oak (approximate retail price ~ $120.00)
- Kavalan Sherry Oak (approximate retail price ~ $150.00)
- The Macallan Rare Cask (approximate retail price ~ $350.00)
- The Macallan Fine Oak 15 YO (approximate retail price ~ $98.00)
- Masterson’s 10 YO Straight Rye (approximate retail price ~ $60.00)
- Michter’s Bourbon (approximate retail price ~ $48.00)
- Michter’s Rye (approximate retail price ~ $46.00)
- Usquaebach’s Old Rare Stone Flagon (approximate retail price ~ $67.00)
- Michter’s American Whiskey (approximate retail price ~ $49.00)
- Usquaebach’s 15 YO (approximate retail price ~ $88.00)
- Port Charlotte Islay Barley (approximate retail price ~$55.00)
Next, I needed to decide which whisky seminar to attend. While browsing the WhiskyFest Guide book, I noticed the Glenmorangie table and headed over to check their samples. I figured another tasting would probably help me decide.
While scanning the selection, I noticed the Original 10 YO, Lasanta PX Sherry Cask 12 YO, Quinta Ruban Port Cask 12 YO, and Nectar D’Or Sauternes Cask 12 YO whiskies. I was also entranced by the Extremely Rare 18 YO and Signet Glenmorangie whiskies.
Glenmorangie Tastings and Education
Lastly, the whisky tastings and education help the attendee to learn about whisky. Set yourself up for success by including educational whisky seminars. The seminars increase your whisky knowledge significantly.
Next, the Head of Maturing Whisky Stocks for the Glenmorangie Company, Brendan McCarron, educated the attendees on Dram Theory.
Since I was keen to try the Extremely Rare and the Signet, Brendan explained the differences between the two whiskies. I sampled the two whiskies, and I’m happy to say that the flavors of the two whiskies were captivating.
The velvety chocolate-orange notes were due to Signet’s smooth and flavorful palate. During our conversation, Brendan informed me that he would do an informative seminar during the whisky tasting. The forum is entitled “Glenmorangie: Beyond the Finish; A tradition of Innovation at the Glenmorangie.”
The presentation was excellent, leading to the opportunity to taste 6 of Glenmorangie’s whiskies, as shown in the below picture.
In fact, Glenmorangie is also introducing three new travel retail whiskies as part of the Legend Collection. The travel-retail whiskies are called Tayne, Tarlogan, and Duthac. Based on the whisky tastings, there is no question that these travel whiskies will be flying off the shelves.
Closing the whisky evening
The San Francisco WhiskyFest 2016 was successful and well attended. To summarize, the doors opening kicked off the WhiskyFest 2016. After that sampling of VIP and other whiskies and lastly, being educated on whiskies and Dram Theory.
The whisky fest was informative and as well as an excellent opportunity to taste whiskies from around the world. By attending a San Francisco Whiskyfest 2016, you also got the chance to also meet distillery representatives.
Afterward, you can look forward to WhiskyFest going to Washington, DC, on March 2, 2017, or Chicago on April 21, 2017. The WhiskyFest website will provide all the necessary details, from the seminars being presented to listing the whiskies served during the tastings.