I just went to my first whiskey festival. And….it was pretty awesome!
The Orlando Whiskey Festival was established in 2015. The event was the first ever whiskey festival brought to Central Florida. It is hosted every year by Whiskey & Bizz, LLC. Whiskey & Bizz through these events encourages education, networking, friendships, and bonding over our favorite spirits. The event features blended Scotch, fine single malts whisky, American whiskeys including bourbon, rye, and flavored whiskies. There is also craft beer and wine featured. The main tasting event allows patrons to sample up to 100 brands of whiskey. A selection of gourmet food is served from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups. Live music inside and outside along with cigar vendors at their Cigar Lounge.
Whiskey & Bizz also tries to strengthen the community by donating proceeds to a local non-profit. All net proceeds raised from the event go to benefit The Lovely Project – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The Lovely Project exists to empower girls and women by infusing them with the knowledge of their value, voice and valor. The Orlando Whiskey Festival has raised $50,000 for the project to date.
I have enough whiskey to have a variable buffet at home any evening. But, sometimes what is the fun in that? I know what everything tastes like. The excitement isn’t quite there anymore. So going to a whiskey festival with the opportunity to try practically an unlimited amount of new whiskey at one time was great! A lot of it I might not be able to acquire or try otherwise. I have to say a number of these special bottles were made available by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and 5 Star Liquor & Wine. So a big thank you for those sponsors for giving myself and others the opportunity to sample some amazing pours.
Here are some of the expressions I was able to try.
Four Roses 2017 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon
Four Roses 50th Anniversary ‘Al Young’ Small Batch Bourbon
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon (New Bottling) I didn’t take note of the batch.
William Larue Weller 2017 Bourbon
Thomas H. Handy 2017 Straight Rye Whiskey
St. Augustine Port Finish Bourbon
Pinhook Straight Rye Whiskey
Michter’s Barrel Strength Toasted Barrel Finish Rye Whiskey
Four Roses OBSV Private Selection Bourbon
Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10 Yr Single Barrel Bourbon
WhistlePig 12 year Old World Cask Finish
WhistlePig 15 Year Straight Rye Whiskey
Michter’s US*1 Bourbon
It was truly a fun event! I enjoyed everything that I was able to sample but I have to say my favorite of the night was the Thomas H. Handy Straight Rye Whiskey. It was my first experience with that expression and it was just delicious. Sadly, there were several whiskeys I was not able to try that I hope to get to sampling soon. I will definitely be attending next years festival. And possibly any other festivals I can before then!
Drink Well Friends!