Celebrating 10 years of bringing popular and rare whisky (and whiskey) brands to thirsty New Yorkers, Whisky Live is set to return to Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on April 9. Hosted each year by Whisky Magazine, the grand tasting brings together hundreds of Scotch, rye and bourbon labels big and small with hundreds of thirsty New Yorkers.
Guests have the opportunity to sample traditional and innovative expressions from the likes of Johnny Walker, Templeton Rye, Widow Jane, Heaven Hill, Bushmills The Glenlivet and more, but to chat with distillers, blenders and brand ambassadors about their favorite whiskies. This year, a focus on New York-based spirits and liqueurs will encourage attendees to taste all that the Empire State has to offer, and whiskies from around the world, including unlikely sources like Japan and India will be popular draws.
The industry has changed a lot in the 10 years the show has been going on, according to Rob Allanson, editor of Whisky Magazine. With the rise in specialty and craft distillers in America, the introduction to the U.S. of producers from Asia, and the trend for single cask, special editions, unique barrel finishes and more even from the largest producers, whisky fans have more options than ever before. "It's been incredible to watch the whisky industry grow so radically over the past decade," Allanson said in a prepared statement. "And if any city has shown love for the spirit and all the style, heritage and diversity it embodies, it's New York."
Whisky Live is also part of Tartan Week NYC, a week-long collection of events, art exhibits, music and more celebrating Scotland's cultural heritage. An annual Tartan Day parade takes place on Saturday, April 5.
One new aspect long-time attendees will appreciate: No vouchers or drink tickets. And while you need to drink responsibly (the organization is going to be hardcore about removing patrons who appear too intoxicated), it does mean if you've got a favorite table, you're not going to be blowing all your E tickets on one ride (ancient Disneyland reference for those under 35).
Standard tickets for the event are $119, allowing entry at 6:30 p.m. VIP tickets cost $149 and get you in at 5 p.m. (last pour is at 9:40 p.m.) Readers of this column can score an extra 10% DISCOUNT by entering the code WLNY when purchasing tickets online at whiskylive.com
Thirsty for more? Check out National Spirits Examiner or NY Drinks Examiner.
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