Whiskey Business 2015

Whiskey Business 2015

If you like tasting new Whiskeys for a night out with friends or to meet new people then Whiskey Business is for you.  Held in The Farmers Market in Royal Oak it was poised to be a great night.

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Background

My friends had introduced me to this event last year when it came up as a Groupon deal.  Unfortunately due to bad timing I could not make it out.  I had to hear about how good it was for several months after that.  So when the Whiskey Business event came up for this year, I made sure I had this date open on my calendar.

The event, Whiskey Business, prides itself in letting you taste your way around the globe for Whiskeys, Bourbons, and Scotches.  Together with brand ambassadors, live entertainment, food available for purchase, and games – you can’t go wrong.  There are two dates for this event this year, one was yesterday 2/21, and the other will be on 11/7.  Their website is laid out nicely for functionality.

With my general admission ticket I was able to attend between 7:30pm – 11pm.  Together with the purchase price came a souvenir glass to be used for all your tastings.  Ten raffle style tear-off tickets were also included which gave me 1/2 oz drink each for a total of 5 oz or five shot glasses of whiskey goodness.

The layout of the event was nice, they had numbered stations/tables throughout the converted Farmers Market which corresponded with the whiskey map you were given upon entry.

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The Tastings

As you can see from the large list above, there was a plethora of choices for whiskeys.  At least ten times the amount of tickets in my hand, as such I had to carefully pick the drams I wanted to taste.  I tried several and doubled up on only two of them, the noteworthy ones are mentioned below:

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Dewar’s 15 year old

Scanning through the list, the first dram that caught my eye the Dewar’s 15 year old in station #5.  This worked well as it was near the entrance and only a couple of steps away.  Waited in line, handed them one ticket, and boom!  I had my first taste of the night.  I’ve had Dewar’s in the past and I still have one offering in my collection so I was hoping not to be disappointed.  This whiskey delivered, a slight sweetness with a smooth finish.

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The Glenlivet 18 year old

Another one that got my attention was in station #10/11.  I have younger versions of The Glenlivet in my collection and they’ve never truly stood out to me.  I was hoping that this older cousin would change my perspective on the brand.  Nosing it gave me a fruity and sweet aroma.  The first sip let me taste that sweetness and it was nice.  It was slightly spiced and complex.  Perspective changed.

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Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

I tried a couple of bourbons this evening but this one stood out the most, it was in station #25.  There was a slight fruity smell when nosing it, typical of Bourbons.  It tasted smooth with hints of vanilla, fruit, and spice.  This one’s taste really surprised me as it had characters sometimes displayed in a scotch.

Tips

  • Even though it was a bit cold during February, make transporation arrangements to be able to dress lightly as the venue was well heated.  Alternatively, they had a coat check but as you and I know, this is just another delay when leaving.
  • Once you have your Whiskey Map, strategize which ones you’re all going to hit first.  You don’t have to map out all of them, just your next one.
  • Not all station numbers were visible/available, so familiarize yourself with the product offerings at the station you want to hit and look for them in the unmarked stations.
  • As hectic as it may look, there are still waiting lines for each station, be patient and if you’re not sure if the person is in line or not, ask.

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Final Thoughts

This was a great event to go out with friends and at the same time get to taste some new whiskey together.  Also, it was a good event to get to know people.

While I tried several drams this night, there were only two I used more than one ticket on – Dewar’s 15 and The Glenlivet 18.  My favorite bourbon for the night was the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.  The Dewar’s 15, The Glenlivet 18, and the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked cost $50, $100, $55 respectively.  All three of my  friends thought that the best dram of the evening was The Glenlivet 18.  While I would buy all three of these, the biggest surprise and also best bang for your buck had to be the Dewar’s 15.  This whiskey tasted above its price point.

As for Whiskey Business event itself… sign me up for the next one!

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