Whisky Magazine Issue 11
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Heaven is wall to wall Scotches, bourbons and malts for the taking. Stuart Maclean Ramsay had a hard time coping.
It was a pleasant if somewhat overwhelming quandary for a whisky drinker to be in. Around 250 single malt Scotches, top class bourbons and other exemplary spirits to nose and sample; 10 whisk(e)y legends and pioneers to listen to and learn from; and a plethora of whisk(e)y makers and distillery managers to chat with about their creations. All of this, plus food and live ceilidh music, to be cherished and absorbed in the space of five hours.
Such was the experience enjoyed by more than 1,000 whisky aficionados at the inaugural Whiskies of the World Expo, held in San Francisco in March this year. What was particularly enjoyable about the event was the opportunity not just to sample an incredible array of rare spirits in a relatively uncrowded atmosphere, but to be able to talk at length with the men who created them. The whiskey producers of the American South were there in force, represented by such spiritual heroes (in alphabetical order) as Parker Beam of Heaven Hill, Jimmy Bedford of Jack Daniel's, Lincoln Henderson of Brown-Forman's Woodford Reserve, Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey, and Bill Samuels Jr of Maker's Mark.
The Scottish contingent, in splendid shades of tartan, included Neil Macdonald of Aberlour, Andrew Currie of the Isle of Arran, Iain Henderson of Laphroaig, Frank McHardy of Springbank, and Richard Paterson of Dalmore. From Ireland, David Quinn of Bushmills and John Teeling of the Cooley Distillery offered Celtic samples.
It was a pleasure, too, to taste ...