Last nights 'Fest was a great event! In addition to seeing some old friends and new friends, I got to chat with Kris Comstock, Ken Weber, Elmer T Lee & Julian Van Winkle from BT; Parker Beam from Heaven Hill, Jimmy Russell; and Jim McEwan from Bruichladdich. Great folks, all.
In addition to the chatting, there was some very tasty products to try. Here's some of the "special" items: I purchased 1 "charity" dram...Ardbeg Provenance, distilled in 1974. Damn was that good...loads of peat smoke, salty, and a very long smoky finish. Nancy couldn't believe the level of smoke. Also from Ardbeg, I tasted the Uigeadail, and wasn't overyly impressed with it. It wasn't bad, but just didn't knock my socks off. I really enjoyed the Bulleit bourbon, and it was great to hear that it should be available soon in NY. At the Kulseveen table, there was a 26 year old Willet bourbon that I luckily was able to taste, and it was absolutely wonderful. Also available was another pretty old bourbon called St. Nick (?) that was the darkest bourbon I've ever seen and tasted. It too was quite good. I once again tried the 10 Year Old Michter's Rye, and I've decided that it's good enough that I'll have to splurge on a bottle. I was told that its more like 20 years old, than 10 years old. Another single malt that was very good was Bruichladdich's 20 Year Old; I enjoyed it much more than their 1989 Full Strength bottling. I also tried the the Yamazaki 12 Year Old from Japan. It was pretty good. I spent the most time with our friends at the Buffalo Trace/Van Winkle tables. Enjoyed a good pour of BT with Kris Comstock and Dave Ganano. Blanton's is always good, GTS is ALWAYS good, Pappy 20 is always very fine. Opposite the BT table was Heaven Hill. Initially, the '95 Evan Williams was not available, so Nancy and I enjoyed the '94. Towards the end of the evening, the gal at the HH table saw me, and called me over. She had the '95, and I got a nice pour of it. Very, very good. Seemed somewhat similiar to the '94 which I enjoy a lot.
I know there's a bunch of non-Straight Bourbon references here, but I wanted to give an overall update.