This past week we were invited to attend Whisky Live, the world tour sampling event that people like me don’t want to miss.
For anyone who has a palate for scotch, bourbon, and whiskey this year’s event at Pier Sixty proved to be not the least bit disappointing. At first, I found it a bit odd to start drinking such a high proof spirit at 5:30 PM on a Wednesday, but that thought was quickly replaced with the fragrant smell of a burning peat rock, a thick Scottish accent, and the taste of an incredibly smoky Ardmore scotch that finished very nicely.
That really set the stage for the rest of the evening and when 6:30 rolled around, and the doors were opened to the general public, I came to really appreciate the previous hour that was spent quietly sampling $300 dollar bottles of Bowmore, Glenlivet, and Glenmorangie. For those that can’t stomach scotch there was a variety of bourbon’s as well as whiskies from Ireland, America, and Japan.
Unfortunately, Johnnie Walker ran out of their Blue Label before we made our way over there, but Oban was nearby and made up for this. Oban had the most elaborate setup which, if you didn’t time your stop correctly, involved waiting 15 or 20 minutes. However, once you got past the women with clipboards and you were let through the curtains, you were sat on one of two very comfortable couches which made up for any wait. Then you were given a somewhat brief history along with a sampling that included a taste of a very private batch which is nearly depleted.
One could only drink so much before finding themselves gravitating toward the multiple food stations that were overflowing with some of the most delicious catered food I’ve had in some time. There you could carve off a slice of blue cheese to eat with crackers, create your own salad, and have a friendly staff member help you with some carbs, or snag yourself a small meatball sandwich that was perfect for the occasion.
Toward the end of the evening there was also a Whisky Live Iron Bartender Competition that although a bit difficult to follow along with did produce a winner who got to walk away with a bottle of Dalmore King Alexander III, and a free night in a suite at The Manhattan Club. More importantly, I learned that chocolate and scotch pair very well together and that there is a secret in how you should consume them together (hint: half a sip of scotch, add chocolate, finish scotch).
For those that missed this year’s event but are looking for a place here in the city where you can enjoy a wide range of similar spirits all year round, check out the Brandy Library in Tribeca. In fact, the Brandy Library has even gone as far as offering an alternative approach to a gentleman’s bachelor party.
I hope to see you at Whiskey Live next year but until then, I’ll be at the Library.