Whiskey is taking off in America. So it’s no surprise that New York City’s annual Whisky Live expo, hosted by Whisky Magazine, was a huge hit this year.
“New York is actually the biggest and most significant whiskey city in the world,” event organiser Dave Sweet told Business Insider.
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The fair, which took place at Pier 60 on Wednesday, featured 80 different brands, distillers, and local bars, which poured more than 300 whiskey expressions. About 1,200 people turned up and the crowd was a mix: suits and ties vs. plaid shirts and hipster beards; amateurs looking to learn about the spirit and whiskey aficionados hoping to taste the next level.
A big theme this year was local craft and flavored whiskies — whether maple-flavored varieties from Vermont or honey-infused blends from the Catskills.
“Craft whiskey is enjoying a huge upswing in popularity,” said Sweet. “There used to be a very limited number of whiskeys that people were aware of, whether it be bourbon or scotch or Irish. Now you have this huge range, and a lot of different flavour profiles.”
He said more and more industry experts are starting to take craft whiskeys seriously, especially now that many have been around for a few years and have had a chance to mature.
Of course, the established names were at Whisky Live too, as well as a ton of master distillers and legendary brand ambassadors.
Four Roses' brand ambassador, Al Young, who made the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame this week after 47 years with the company, told us that young bourbon drinkers should sample lots of different bourbons before settling on the one they like.
Japan's Suntory showed up -- and we may have had the last sip of their award-winning Hibiki 21 year old.
Saxtons River Distillery's sapling Vermont maple whiskey and bourbon are 1/3rd maple syrup. ONE THIRD.
Whistle Pig's master distiller, Dave Pickerell, announced that they're releasing a handful of old wood finishes this year.
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