As I gather my thoughts from last nights events, my initial thoughts are to thank Hi-Time Wine Cellars and Westside Museum for putting on this wonderful event. The venue was perfectly set up for the type of event being hosted, there were rustic looking tables lined up along the walls and also down the middle of the room. There was a lounge area with chairs and tables so you can rest up, take notes or just have conversation. There was a live band on the stage in front of the lounge area as well. Upstairs there was a bar with more whiskies to be sampled as well as a food vendor to buy some grub.
When you first arrive at Westside Museum you're greeting by the valet. After going inside and showing your ID to the bouncer, you get your wrist band and a glass for your tasting pours at the front hostess table. They also give you an impressive looking program so you know which whiskies are being sampled and by whom. It was a great way to take tasting notes or write in your own tasting scores next to the whiskies you sampled which was really convenient. It also showed normal pricing and event special pricing next to each whiskey. Ryan Press did a great job designing and printing these.
The glasses were donated by Dianco. I'm not sure on the brand name, but they were from Romania. They were a more stout version of a Glencairn glass. The base was much wider which makes them better suited for a public event like this where lots of moving parts and accidents can occur, these are less likely to tip over than Glencairn. I would say these are now a very close 2nd best glass for daily drinking, but I think they're a top pick for large group tastings. Similar shape, but sturdier base. If I can find more information on the glasses I will update this post with the name and/or a place to purchase them. It appears they might be sold exclusively through Hi-Time Wine Cellars: Dianco Single Malt Glass
At the advice of Toby from Hi-Time and Nate from ScotchNoob I made sure to pace myself and only swallow some of the whiskies. I had no shame spitting out some of the whiskies into a plastic cup. There were definitely some whiskies that blew me away (some for bad reasons) so to keep things positive, I want to mention which were my favorites. Yamazaki 12 was the clear favorite for me. It is SO good! There was a really unique Rye Whiskey from Cedar Ridge that I think should be on everyone's must try list. Another great Japanese Whisky was Kurayoshi Pure Malt 12 Year. My other top picks were both from Compass Box, No Name and the pound for pound king of budget whiskey: Great King St Glasgow Edition. I think Glasgow will be a permanent bottle on my shelf.
I have to make sure to mention, one of my favorite drinks wasn't even a straight whiskey. Nooku Bourbon Cream. Amazingly good. Even my wife who doesn't like whiskey would have no problem putting back a full glass of this. Which can be dangerous how easy it goes down with some ice. It claims to be the first true Bourbon cream made using only bourbon whiskey and dairy cream. At a budget price, you need to bring this out for your next social gathering, it's a huge step up from Bailey's Irish Cream.
I also want to mention, almost every vendor there was kind and personable. Most of them loved talking about their product and what made theirs unique. I also spoke with many of the patrons who were also really kind and liked speaking about which whiskies were there favorite and share about ones that were a "Must Try" it really made this event feel like one big members only club as if we all knew each other already. This may be the first time I've ever been in a room full of people drinking and yet there wasn't even one of "those guys", you know the type. I really, really enjoyed the even in all aspects. My one wish is to find out that Hi-Times decides this will be an annual event.
Thank you to Hi-Time Wine Cellars and Westside Museum for putting on my favorite event to date.
Audio recap can be played and heard below:
As a fan of scotch and other whiskeys I was tired of looking up reviews for new whiskeys that just oozed of snobbery. I wanted to create an outlet for average Joe's who don't have a sommelier palate. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, I moved to San Diego, California in 2010 with my wife. I'm also a fan of MMA, pro-wrestling, comic books, video games and strongman. All subjects are topic for discussion on the podcast.
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