As many of you know, I attended last evening's WhiskyFest held at the Marriot Marquis in NYC. It was quite a night!
First off, the disappointing news...the new Stagg was NOT there. A rep at BT had written me and said that one bottle of the new GTS would be available, so my first stop was at the BT booth, and when I asked to taste the Stagg, I knew it was last years due to the proof. I asked for the new bottling, and I was told that was the only Stagg they had. The second disappointment was that the '94 Evan Williams was not available. At the Heaven Hill booth, I showed the staff that the '94 was included in the list of whiskies that would be available. Unfortunately, it was not. I really wanted to try this one based upon all of the great reviews it has gotten here.
Now, the good news! It was an overall wonderful evening. I got to talk with Elmer T Lee again; I met with Ken Weber for awhile; while at the Heaven Hill booth, I got to meet Parker Beam. He and I spoke about the Evan Williams '94 and our party at the Gazebo. Upon learning that I was a member of SB and had attended the Bourbon Festival, one of the women from the HH booth asked if I had been at the Gazebo party. She said that she'd heard it was quite a time! Word gets around.
I tasted numerous Bourbons that I've had before, but there were 3 (1 Rye) that I'd never had before, and all are from Michter's: 10 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon, US*1 American Whisky and 10 Year Old Straight Rye. The US*1 was very different. As Mark has noted, the aroma is totally amazing. I enoyed smelling this one very much. The taste caught me off guard a bit, as it too was different, so I'm really not sure if I liked it or not. I would have to try it again, and not on an evening of tasting as much as I did last night. The Michter's Bourbon was OK, but I didn't find anything really exciting about it, but the same holds true for this as the *1, I would try it again. The Michter's Straight Rye was VERY good. I found the flavors of the Rye to be very enjoyable. I was told that the Rye is curently unavaible, as they are all sold out. It is one that I will be looking for when it hits the stores again. I highly recommend checking it out!
I tried for the second time, and I think the last, the Old Potero products. I had them at the WhiskyFest last year and did not enjoy them. I had the same experience last evening. I wonder if I would enjoy them better if they aged a bit more.
I'll just add here that Connemara Irish Whiskey is great, especially if you like a peaty dram. I tried the 4 Year Old, 12 Year old and Cask Strength. All were excellent.