The Los Angeles Magazine Whisky Festival offers both aficionados and novices tastes of at least 30 (I didn't count and I could not find a list of participants online, so I am guessing) spirits ranging from single malt scotch to blends, bourbons, ryes, and some specialty ones made from rice! Tickets were $95 and included 3 hours of tasting (using a Waterford glass we could take home).
I am fairly well versed in French wines, and although I do have a smattering of whisky knowledge, I have neither the tolerance nor purse to imbibe several fine spirits on a regular basis. I was invited as part of a friends' birthday who not only knew many of the participants, but shares my palate preferences, so his girlfriend and I just said, "You tell us what we should try!"
Our first taste was an 18 year old single malt scotch by Duncan Taylor which turned out to be my favorite :) As noted by Compass Whisky (not a participant), the age noted on bottles refers only to the youngest component, so keep that in mind when making buying decisions of blends!
There were many award winners
and specialty distillers.
I thought I didn't like Bourbon until I tasted Angel's Envy, poured by the blender herself of a special blend only available at the Intercontinental Hotel in Los Angeles; it's the highest award winner for a delicious reason! Macallen was on hand with a double cask that I enjoyed very much.
The guys at Duncan Taylor wore kilts!
This was my first time inside the La Brea Tar Pits Museum, and it was mind boggling!
This is a sloth!
Fun interactive display with that required two hands to slightly budge one lever!
The space was incredibly educational and entertaining for an event venue, this was one long wall,
and the workspace was on display as well as the finished assembled pieces.
The lines for food were longer than the lines for scotch, but the passed bites were more interesting than the mashed potato bar and the usual charcuterie, cheese, and crudite buffets. Since this was a spirited event, the emphasis was on the drinks not the food, but the bites were varied and well presented. Some bites not shown were mini crabcakes, stuffed mushrooms, and fried macaroni bits; on the sweet side at least three kinds of mini cupcakes floated through the rooms as well. The space was so large that a DJ, a jazz combo with singer, and a vinyl playing stereo all filled various sections with music without overlap.
There were also some fun booths like a photo stand, shoe shine,
and cigar rolling by El Canito Cigars.
I got a Robusto to go :)