Have you ever had the feeling that Christmas came early? What about a nautical Christmas with all the whisky and food your heart could desire?
As amazing as that sounds, this was my reality a few weekends ago.
I was fortune enough to attend Whiskies of World – San Francisco (WOWSF)… and best of all, I didn’t even buy a ticket!
This awesome experience was a Christmas gift (the December kind, not my fantasy nautical one) from my wife before we moved to the US. It turned out to be one of the greatest whisky experiences I’ve ever had. The only thing missing was Dr. Dram (Though I’m sure he regrets that more than I do!).
What was so special about WOWSF?
I’ve been to a lot of whisky events in Australia but this was my first in the US and I have to say that while there were lots of reason to be impressed, I’ll break it down to 5 things:
1. The event lasted 3 hours and there were just over 250 drams to sample (plus a handful of other things like gin, tequila, mezcal… but why waste your time… after all the event is called “whiskies of the world”). That’s about 1.4 whiskies per minute, if you’re up for the challenge.
2. There were drams from all over the world, including Australia (represent!), USA, Canada, France (I’ll get to this one in a later post), Japan, Taiwan, Ireland and all regions of Scotland.
3. You could sample many different types of whiskies including single malts, single grains, blended malts, bourbons, wheats, ryes and even corns… there were even some unusual whiskies for the non-drammist.
4. Free food!
5. Did I mention the event was on a boat? (This was pretty much my exact reaction)
All jokes aside, boats and free food are awesome, but all that matters at these events is the whisky, the atmosphere and genuineness. WOWSF understand what I’m talking about. They had paying customers willingly dressing in kilts. That’s whisky cred right there.
At the door, before even meeting the whiskies, we were greeted by a platoon of pristine Glencairns. They stood in formation, shiny and unmarred by the 250+ whiskies available that night. It was our job, our duty, to see that they held as many whiskies as humanly possible throughout that long and whiskified night.
You get to take one of these badboys home
… and at the end of the day if you’re not into whisky (It’s ok, nobody’s perfect..), there was still the opportunity to get dressed up in a suit and top hat while eating free food, drinking non-whisky beverages and smoking cigars on the deck on a badass boat. Not a bad night out on the town… did I mention there was whisky? Enough said.
For me personally WOWSF was eventful. I wanted my first whisky event in the US to be unique. I wanted to experience exciting, new drams and uniquely American expressions. These were my personal whisky missions for the night.
While I’ll be going into more detail about it in an upcoming post, I’m happy to say I was blown away by kickass dram from one of the newer Scottish distilleries, a unique European whisky, an amazing US single malt and rye that others have raved about.
In short, WOWSF turned out to be one of the best whisky events I’ve ever attended and I encourage every drammist in the Bay Area to attend next year.
– Whisky Fiend