The 2014 Los Angeles Whisky Live was a lot of fun. It was filled with fun booths, great people, water a plenty, but unless you were both quick and lucky the food was a little on the light side. However, I’m not a food blogger and this is not a food blog. No this is a whiskey blog and that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about!
Wandering the floor before the crowd arrived my two favorite booths were the Laphroaig (also held Glen Garioch, Bowmore & Auchentoshan) booth with it’s replica still and Glenmorangie with all of the fruits and herbs in jars to compare what you’re smelling in your glass to the actual thing. They did a great job of building a sensory experience in such a small area.
A lot of the bigger guys were there like Glenlivet, Aberlour, Heaven Hill, Four Roses, Michter’s, Old Pulteny, Talisker, High West and more. They were all great to see and I had the opportunity to taste some things that I haven’t been able to taste before. However, for me the highlight of the show were the smaller guys I got to meet and get to know.
The guys from Cedar Ridge had a truly tasty bourbon, rye and most impressive of all an American single malt that completely blew me away. It was rich, lively, tasty and fun like the rest of their whiskeys but it also had a great depth to it that was surprising and inviting all at once. Definitely something to keep an eye out for.
Then we come to another of my favorite tables of the night. The Sonoma County Distilling Co. Everything these guys had was young… but it was good. The rye was expressive without being harsh, the bourbon was grain driven without being raw, the wheat was rich and flavorful and the cask strength stuff Adam was pouring from under the table was just incredible. I’ve reached back out to these guys for a follow-up interview so hopefully we’ll be able to get that lined up before the end of the year as well.
If you’re looking back at this and saying to yourself “wow, that’s pretty light coverage of what was supposed to be a pretty awesome event” fret not because I took copious notes of the whisky I tried while I was there and I’ll be telling the rest of the story via 6 stand out product reviews over the next month and a half. It’s the event that keeps on giving and here’s a sneak peak into what I’ll be reviewing:
- Bernheim 7 yr Wheat Whiskey
- Parker’s Heritage 13 yr Wheat Whiskey
- Midleton Barry Crockett
- Redbreast 21
- Mortlach Rare Old
- Cedar Ridge Single Malt
Cheers everyone and if you’ve never been I definitely recommend it next time it’s in your city. A big thanks for Dave & Barb for putting this on!