Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Last week, thanks first to Ed and then to H., I was able to attend Whiskeyfest. Given the seriousness of my journalism, I'm sure you've assumed that I have an extensive batch of tasting notes with which to share with you. Of course, you would be wrong. I made the boozefest mistake of a rank amateur -- Thinking, full of hubris, that I would have no problem remembering what I drank. That was problematic on two fronts; my memory sucks as it is, and we were drinking. A lot. We weren't riotously drunk, but when one starts hitting booths that are only offering spirits you drink on a regular basis, it's a pretty safe bet that the tasting notes are going to be murdered within the fog by liquor fueled leper zombies.

Nevertheless, since there were notable things that I remember, and now that I've got a bit more of my hand back, I need to get back to updating this damn thing it's share time!

I've been to some other whiskey shows in the past, and was somewhat disappointed in what felt to me an exclusionary air. The feeling was that those who weren't in a position to increase the market share of a whiskey weren't worthy of much attention. Whiskeyfest felt the total opposite. Every exhibitor we spoke with was incredibly friendly, and more than happy to answer my frequently dumb questions.

At the Rhum Clement booth Ed helped me score a swizzle stick. Like, the real deal West Indies swizzle stick. I know I sound like a freak for being exited about such a thing, but they are both hard to come by and awesome. So there. As I was admiring my stick (see what I did there?) a familiar face appeared at my side -- None other than Underhill Lounge's Chief Awesome Officer Erik Flannestad.

As we were standing at the Rhum booth, Erik if I had been to the Ron Zacapa booth yet. Having heard much of this rum, but not having jammed any of it in my pie-hole previously I went post-haste. That rum, my friends, is fucking delicious. It's got a lovely, buttery smooth mouth feel, and a clean "rum" flavor with a smooth finish. A damn fine sipping rum it is. Suffused with the glow of tasty rum I felt it was time to lower my guard, and open up. Right then and there I came out to Erik as a rumophobe. Sure, I loves me some rum, but as a category it frightens and confuses me. It felt good to get that out in the open.

Having felt we finally had our fill, Ed and I were standing out on the street corner when he had the bright idea of heading over to Clock Bar, and I had the bright idea of thinking that was a bright idea. It turned out that Ed was quite prescient, as it wasn't long after we received our first drink that one Mr. Flannestad was standing next to us. With him was cocktail blogger/writer Paul Clarke. Fortunately I was not quite the gibbering loon I was the I was the last time I ran into him, and can say with confidence that he's a fine gentleman to share a drink with. Ed and I had a few more, and watched as the bar began to fill up with Whiskeyfest refugees whom I'm sure were quite happy to take our vacated seats when we left.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I'd have to say that it wasn't so much the booze that fogged my memory, but the fact that I was having too much fun talking to random people, bartenders, and distillers to really focus all my attention on the booze. I definitely many great tastes, but it felt more like hanging out with friends than a time to take notes. Damn, when the fuck did I get all sentimental? Somebody get me a bottle of Jameson and a Clutch album stat!

Comments always welcome or feel free to e-mail us at drinkaweek [at] gmail [dot] com.


Cristina said...

I found out about Whiskeyfest too late. I had plans and wasn't able to make it. Still, had I not had plans, I probably would've just grumbled about the cost and not gone anyway. Heh.

drinkaweek said...

If it makes you feel any better I grumbled about the price right up until Ed told me he got me a ticket. Which probably doesn't actually make you feel any better.