Philadelphia Whiskey Fest 2014

As we ascended on the escalator, Kingpin and I neared the source of the inviting music- like a well planned soundtrack in your favorite movie, our arrival at Whiskey Fest only built with anticipation. It grew louder by the second, and when we reach the apex of automatic stairwell, we found that we were being serenaded by the musical stylings of the American Deluxe Band, only hinting what was in store for us throughout the night.

This isn’t was I expected to do when I woke up this morning, with my day off I planned on doing next to, if not, absolutely nothing. Though, Facebook had another plan as it threw it at me like mashed potatoes against the wall. PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE’S WHISKEY & FINE SPIRITS FESTIVAL. I got the message and started sending emails, hoping Bacchus would smile on me.

After shuffling through registration, we were given gift bags partially full of goodies and instructions about which locations to head to first. Excited for our Whiskey Fest future, we hurried into the main hall to, what could only be described as, a TD2BD dream come true. My Eyes widened as a cornucopia of alcohol, flooded my vision and soon to enter my gullet, as each table was filled with any drink imaginable waiting for someone to come and drink. Kingpin and I checked our maps to see which tables were offering an exclusive VIP tasting and we were off, like two kids in a candy store.

We set our course through the maze of spirits and vowed not to stray. The goal was to start from one end and roll straight through to the other, a daunting task for any regular man, but we were TD2BD. As we flitted from table to table trying anything from straight Pappy Van Winkle bourbon to a Chila Float (Chila ‘Orchata mixed with Dr. McGillicuddy’s root beer) without any discretion or parental supervision. Unfortunately, the VIP tasting hour was running short and we still had plans to stop at a few more tables of interest like Dewar’s, who had a guy rolling fresh cigars, free to a good home. We broke course, collected our prizes and got back on track right where we left off.

In addition to all of the distillers, several local restaurants were also in attendance, giving samples of their amazing cuisine, something sorely needed nutrients while we made our way through so much spirit sampling. Some notables included Village Whiskey who were giving out BBQ pulled pork sliders, and La Columbe, who in addition to their incredible coffee, had a sampling of their coffee flavored rum (which you totally couldn’t tell was mixed into your coffee if that’s the route you went.

The bottom line:
Philadelphia Magazine’s Whiskey & Fine Spirits Festival, is an amazing event worth going to at least once. In its 11th year, it continues to provide Philadelphia’s liquor connoisseurs with a sampling of the newest and finest spirits across the board. We had the opportunity to meet several distillers from near and far, and learn about some of the processes that make each spirit unique from one another, you get to educate yourself on some of the finer points of the distilling process. Not only was it an educational experience straight from the source, each company that was represented was happy and knowledgeable and were extraordinarily passionate about their product. I recommend this highly and plan on going back next year.