In 2018 finding common ground can be hard, but I think we can all agree that Whisky is still needed, now more than ever. So Whiskyri is aging gracefully and still going strong at full cask strength. But, as you’ve no doubt noticed, I’ve decided to put public tastings on hold for now, and focus on donating tastings to charities to raise help raise money and holding private tastings by request.
That doesn’t mean that there won’t be public tastings again in the future, just that there aren’t any planned in the short-term. The good news is there are more places than ever to check out great whisky – both in liquor stores and in bars.
While prices are a lot higher than they were just a few years ago (remember Weller 12 year old sitting on the shelves for just $30) for many things (although Old Grandad 100 Proof is still a bargain at $21), the selection at most stores and restaurants has gotten a lot better. And we are finally starting to see the benefits of the production increases from 2011, 2012 and 2013. I predict that the next 5-10 years will be another great period for whisky – maybe not another whisky loch, or whiskey lake situation, but you’ll be able to find really great whisky without having to camp out overnight in parking lots and win the lottery to buy that special bottle.
Oh the unicorns (Pappy et al) will still be impossible to find and beyond expensive when you do find them, but there’s so much great bourbon and single malt aging into the sweet spot of flavor that once again independent bottlers with good palates will be able to bottle really interesting stuff. Which brings me back to the reason I started Whiskyri – I just wanted a way to taste interesting whisky and share the joy. I’ve been able to do that and so much more. With your help, we’ve raised over $12,000 for charity organizations, organized tastings for 100s of people and I’ve made some great friendships over drams.
Thank you to everyone who’s helped through the years and I look forward to raising a glass with you again. Slàinte Mhòr! – t
And the tickets are all gone. We’ve sold out. Looking forward to this tasting. 5 of the barrels have long since sold out – only 1 is still available and it’s definitely worth checking out.
We’ll have a selection of light appetizers from Easy Entertaining to go with our whisky. And we’ll be doing our usual post tasting raffle to benefit homeless veterans – a problem that’s only grown over the last 15 years. Proceeds benefit Operation Stand Down Rhode Island.
All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the Whisky Advocate – they’ve supported WhiskyRi by providing copies to give away since the very beginning. And we are very appreciative for their support. -t
Who’s ready to taste some whisky? Specifically whisky that you can’t buy anymore, at least most of it.
Tickets are now on sale for our Wednesday Oct 18th Tasting – A Public Private Barrel Tasting. We’ll be tasting 6 whiskies – 5 Bourbons and 1 Rye. All from privately selected barrels. 5 of these are from my collection and are no longer available, at least these particular barrels have long since been sold out.
The ephemeral quality of a single barrel bourbon is part of what makes it so special. When you find one you really like – you buy as much of it as you can. Alternatively you savor it – breaking it out to share with special friends – because whisky shared with other people always tastes better. Enough philosophizing. Onto the whiskies.
We’ll be tasting:
Old Weller Antique Private Barrel (I bought an entire 12-count case of this a few years ago I liked it so much)
2013 Vintage Elmer T Lee (One of the last barrels chosen by Elmer T Lee himself before he passed away at age 93)
Dad’s Hat Rye (this is the 1st private barrel they did)
Old Forester (this is from the Liquor Barn in Kentucky, they know bourbon and I find myself enjoying Old Forester more and more)
Barrell Bourbon (this one was chosen by a group called the Bourbon Crusaders, I was allowed to buy one bottle)
1792 Full Proof (this is still available at Bottles, for now)
The tasting will be held at New Harvest Coffee & Spirits, Wednesday October 18th at 7:30. We’ll have light appetizers catered for the evening (catering by Easy Entertaining). Tickets are available today at Bottles Fine Wine and are $35 each. We’ll have our usual post-tasting raffle to benefit Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to helping homeless veterans – so bring your cash because we’ll be raffling off a bottle of something, as well as a few other goodies.
Whisky Tasting tickets always make a great gift – why don’t you buy two tickets and bring a friend. You’ll both be happy, hopefully learn a few things, taste some bourbon and make new memories. What could be better?
Don’t delay buying your tickets, this one should sell out. It’ll be a fun night and the perfect way to kick off the busy Fall holiday sesson. Hope to see you there. -t
Many of you have asked why things have been so quiet lately.
It’s not so much that things have been quiet – as much as I’ve been focusing primarily on private tastings for several reasons. One big reason is that they are simpler to arrange. The logistics in arranging a public tasting are complex and take time to arrange and manage. A private tasting is also simpler partially because there are usually 8-10 attendees and they provide the tasting space, and often the catering as well. I really like the feeling of intimacy when everyone is crowded around the dining room table, rubbing shoulders – the
I really enjoy being invited into someone’s home and sharing my whisky with them. Whisky always tastes better when you share it with others.
A second reason is I really enjoy the scale and dialogue at a small tasting – when there are 6 or 8 people around a table, the tasting turns into a real conversation with back and forth across the table allowing everyone to participate. Something that is hard, or frankly almost impossible, to achieve when you have 20 or 30 people in a room.
Another thing I’ve been focusing on more lately is charity tastings – donating a tasting to organizations I support allows me to share my whisky with people who support charities and non-profits that I also support. A true win-win.
In the 5 years since WhiskyRI was founded we’ve directly donated over $2,500 (in actual cash from the tasting raffles) to Operation Stand Down Rhode Island and helped other organizations like Reach Out and Read, the United Way, BayView Academy and the Southside Community Land Trust raise over $10,000 through donated tastings. I’m really proud of that and consider myself incredibly lucky to be in a position to help people while having fun doing it.
Of course I’ll still hold public tastings, just less often. Sláinte. -t
Summer and Bourbon. What a perfect combination. Long days, hazy sunshine, slow breezes, sitting on a porch with a glass of bourbon, sharing stories and laughter with family and friends. Recalling old memories and making new ones. What could be better?
Well, WhiskyRI doesn’t have the porch and isn’t your family, and hopefully we can be friends. We do have bourbon though, and that’s a good thing. Not just any bourbon however. Bourbons that are made for Summer – because I think most of us can agree that Summer is simply better with Bourbon.
And so we are kicking off Summer with a Summer Bourbon Tasting. We’ll taste six whiskies that go with Summer, we’ll share a few stories, hopefully have a few laughs and maybe even make some few friends. Whether you are new to Bourbon or already have old favorites we’ll reexamine some forgotten brands and hopefully help you discover some new ones.
The tasting will be held at New Harvest Coffee & Spirits, Tuesday June 21st at 7:30. We’ll have light appetizers catered for the evening (catering by Easy Entertaining). Tickets are available today at Bottles Fine Wine and are $30 each. We’ll have our usual post-tasting raffle to benefit Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to helping homeless veterans – so bring your cash because we’ll be raffling off a bottle of something, as well as a few other goodies.
If you are looking for the perfect Father’s Day present – why don’t you buy two tickets and bring your dad, or if you are the father, why don’t you treat yourself and bring a friend. You’ll make a dad happy, learn a few things, taste some bourbon and make new memories. What could be better?
Don’t delay buying your tickets, this one should sell out pretty quickly. It’ll be a fun night and the perfect way to start Summer. Hope to see you there. -t