Thrilled to attend Whisky Live LA this past October with my husband Eddie, I found many new spirits beyond single malt whisky to sample and met up with many whisky people that I’ve seen enough times now to call friends. 

If you don’t have time to read this article you can view 18 of my pictures in two little grids here. This caption on one of the photos will tell you a little of how much fun there was to be had, “Ran into lots of pals from LA Scotch Club, LA Wine Writers, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, JVS Wines Import, Inc. and dead center is SENIOR WHISKY MASTER STEPHEN BEAL. OMG I met him at the end of the night, in the VIP lounge, where I almost didn't get in...but you can see how welcoming Stephen looks! If you don't know him Google him. He has built up an AMAZING wealth of knowledge spanning decades. I had just read an article about him in Artisan Spirit Magazine. — with Monique Huston, Ries Michael, Kerry Moynahan, Chris Uhde and Judi Laing.

Let’s Begin

Treated to VIP tickets we had early access to whisky sampling, a very nice VIP Experience Area, souvenir etched crystal tasting glasses, a full-sized event program with articles, a dinner buffet that included many items made with whisky and even some nice live entertainment.

What We Tasted

From this VIP Pour List below, many were also available in the main tasting area. I will bold the ones that I had time to taste (at this event and/or previous events) and enjoyed.

  • Glenfarcias 25 Years
  • Al Young 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Small Batch
  • 2017 Limited Edition Four Roses Small Batch – ranked 96 points by Fred Minnick
  • Evan Williams Single Barrel – limited special Whisky Magazine bottling
  • Breckenridge Dark Arts Malt Whisky
  • Garryana Single Malt by Westland Distillery
  • Aberfeldy 21
  • Bladnoch Talia 25 Year Old Port Pipe Finish
  • Master’s Keep Decades
  • Glen Grant 18 years
  • Four Roses Single Barrel – limited Whisky Magazine bottling – Al Young Celebration
  • Maker’s Mark Private Selections
  • Woodford Single Barrel Special Selections by Whisky LIVE
  • Kentucky Peerless Single Barrel
  • Brenne 10
  • Johnnie Walker Blue
  • Old Forester 1920
  • Tobermory 21 years
  • Deanston 20 years
  • Jack Daniel’s #27 Australia Exclusive – Double Matured in Maple Barrels 
    – (Australia/Euro-Asia Duty Free Exclusive)

The Main Arena Tasting (all listed here are the ones I was lucky enough to taste, maybe one third of what was available!)

The Spirit of Mulholland Distilling had a tasty gin distilled from corn; Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company had a bourbon and rye, Kavalan single malt both the sherry and bourbon oak finishes; Nikka Coffee Malt Whisky; Old Portrero straight rye; everything I sampled from That Boutique-y Whisky Company*; Johnnie Walker Blender’s Batch 10-year-old; everything from Balcones distillery in Texas that included Baby Blue made from roasted blue corn, Rumble made from wildflower honey, turbinado sugar and mission fig spirit that was more spice than it was sweet, their Texas Single Malt and Brimstone which is labeled as Texas Scrub Oak Smoked Whisky; Mixwell ginger ale; Widow Jane’s lineup that were all made with “pure limestone mineral water from the Widow Jane mine in Rosendale, NY” and included a whiskey distilled from rye mash aged in American oak, another whiskey aged in oak and apple wood, a 10-year-old straight bourbon; then I got a totally different nose and flavor in the sweet Brenne 10-year-old that had been finished in cognac barrels; Peerless Kentucky straight rye whiskey; Few Rye Whiskey and finally, Deanston 20-year-old single malt.

*The event actually also had several classes concurrent with the tasting. I was able to snag a seat in one, led by Monique Huston who I had met earlier this year at the Nth show. She had a line-up of whisky that were not only new for me that I had never seen or tasted before, they were also rare. Stop in on this site next week to see the story on “That Boutique-y Whisky Company” U.S. launch.

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a "certification in first globally-recognized course" as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com