I have never been one to turn down the opportunity to try something new, especially when it relates to one of my passions. So, when Denver Cramer from Denver and Liely told me he was going to be in Atlanta and asked if I wanted to put together and event, I quickly said yes.
Did I know what I was doing? Not at all. But I knew I had a few secret weapons. I quickly reached out to my friend Angela, who is my “in” to most events and restaurants in Atlanta. Also, knowing the connection between Denver, Sam Simmons and David Stewart (Master Distiller of Balvenie) I reached out to my good friends at Balvenie, Jonathan Wingo and David Laird. Once a location was finalized (Kimball House in Decatur, GA), and the whisky was procured, there was only one thing left to do… have the event.
This wasn’t a typical formal tasting. This was to be more of a conversational and personal walk through the Balvenie core finished expressions, the 12yr DoubleWood, 14yr Caribbean Cask, 17yr DoubleWood and the 21yr PortWood, while being enjoyed in the pristine hand blown Whisky Glasses of Denver and Liely.
Once the doors opened, we had about 20 or so people ready to jump right into the tasting. Then slowly though the night more people signed up and were coming over to our section of the bar to learn about and just talk whisky. I was in heaven. We also got to hear from Denver about the idea and science behind their Whisky Glass, which was an extra treat. The event itself was supposed to last from 5-7pm, but thanks to the awesome turnout and the ongoing interest of people coming up for tastings, it ended up lasting till closer to 10pm. I couldn’t have had any more fun.
Three big takeaways from the event:
1. The Balvenie 17yr DoubleWood (my personal fav) was the big fan favorite of the night.
2. The Denver and Liely Glass is not only beautiful, but an amazing glass for whisky or cocktails.
3. Atlanta wants and needs more whisky events and tastings.
My wife will tell you, there is no greater introvert than I. But, you get me talking about whisky, and all that changes. I had such a great time and was quite honored to be part of such a great event. But I surely couldn’t have done it without the help of my friends. They all stepped up and made my first (hopefully of many) event a blast. So, to them, and to everyone who attended… thank you.
*all pics credited to Denver Cramer