Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Best Whiskey Festivals

On Monday, I asked folks for their favorite whiskey festivals excluding the most well known (WhiskyLife, Whisky Fest and the Scotch Malt Whisky Extraveganza).  I got a lot of interesting replies for events big and small:

  • Binny's World of Whiskies. There was lots of love for this event sponsored by Chicago liquor chain Binny's. It takes place annually just before WhiskyFest Chicago (March 16 this year). Price looks to be around $40.
  • The Nth Universal Whisky Experience. This Las Vegas show is known for it's high-roller crowd. This year's Nth will be on March 4. Ticket prices range from $525 to $2,495 for a package that includes super pours of rare whiskey and "whisky speed dating" with "whisky celebrities." 
  • Pittsburgh Whiskey Festival. The Pittsburgh festival happens every fall and costs $102. They do not appear to have a date yet for this year's event.
  • Tales of the Cocktail. America's premiere cocktail event takes place every July in New Orleans. While it's not a whiskey festival, there are plenty of whiskey related tastings and events. This year's Tales is set for July 19 to 24. Tickets are sold per event so there are many options.
  • Victoria Whisky Festival. This is one of the big ones. It's not in the US, but it is US adjacent in Victoria, British Columbia. It takes place over a weekend in January. There are various events and classes, but the main tastings seem to run from $110 to $175.
  • Whisky Jewbilee. Sponsored by whiskey bottler Single Cask Nation, the Whisky Jewbilee started in New York five years ago. This year, they will be in Seattle (March 8, $95), New York (June 15, $130) and Chicago (Sept. 1, price TBA).
  • Whiskey Obsession Festival. This festival takes place in Sarasota, Florida. This year, it will be March 30 to April 1. ($50-$211).
  • Whiskey on Ice is a Minneapolis tasting that started last year. This year's event is on April 10 ($85-$125).
  • Whiskies of the World is another travelling event. This year they have shows in San Jose (March 24, $80), San Francisco (March 26, $130-$185), Austin (Sept. 29, price TBA), Houston (Oct. 1, price TBA), and Atlanta (Oct. 22, price TBA).


Anonymous said...

Binny's event is usually the day before Whiskeyfest, but since that day is St. Patrick's Day, Binny's is holding the event on Wednesday the 16th.

sku said...

Thanks! Text corrected.

Mantisking said...

Go Whisk(e)y Weekend at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, Massachusetts. It's usually held the last weekend in February and is the largest whisk(e)y festival in New England.

Anonymous said...

The WoW event at Binnys is now only two hours long. They cut the price to $40 but that may put people off.

tanstaafl2 said...

Several Bourbon specific events that haven't gotten much mention include the annual Bourbon Festival in Bardstown every September for the past 20 some years.

There is also the much newer Bourbon Classic in Louisville usually around this time (February 23-27 this year). I haven't been to that yet but have heard some good reports.

And I suppose the also relatively new Bourbon Affair in June is kind of a bourbon version of the "high-roller" Nth Universal Whisky Experience. Also not one I have had the chance to experience first hand.