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Each year, the event gets a little larger and grander. In light of Balvenie’s recent partnership with Anthony Bourdain, I knew that this year’s production would be spectacular. This year, the event was held at Hudson Merchantile on West 36th Street in New York City.
I will say this: when a tasting is in a room with 75-100 guests instead of 20-30, you obviously lose some of the intimacy, but Balvenie did it’s best to make you feel like you were integrally part of the event, rather than a member of an audience.
The event was held on two floors. On the first floor, upon arrival, you were first treated to a pour or a dram or a shot, or whatever you may call it, of Balvenie whiskey.
Next, we entered into an area dedicated to craftspeople and their trades. This stems from the Raw Craft partnership with Anthony Bourdain:
We teamed up with Anthony Bourdain to bring you Raw Craft, an inspiring behind the scenes look inside the workshops of some of the most talented, creative and hardworking craftspeople in America. In The Balvenie spirit, Bourdain will uncover the true meaning of craftsmanship. Each film showcases artisans guiding him through the process while providing unique insight into the dedication and sacrifice required to produce everyday items by hand.
The artisans were present and interacted with the guests. They told interesting stories and demonstrated their trades for us, including, stone work, blacksmith work, oak barrel making, printing, and watchmaking, among other things.
I enjoyed the tribute to craftsmanship. At the end of the day, we were all there to sample the whisky, so I was happy when they said it was time to proceed to the second floor. First there was a living room like area, with a handful of hors oeuvres…..
Then we were brought into the tasting room and took our seats. As Ambassador Loren spoke to us, we were invited to taste 3 whiskeys – a 14 year old (Caribbean Cask), a 17 year old (Doublewood), and a 21 Year old (Portwood). They were each quite good.
We all got to keep a Balvenie nosing glass as a souvenir. Some took a few extras.
The event was good and fun and never felt too crowded. There were three sessions, one around 6 pm, one at 7:00 pm, and another at 8 pm. They did a good job of moving each group along. And, no, I didn’t see Anthony.
I’d like some more whiskey please!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.