On Saturday evening, December 1st I attended the Brooklyn Whiskey Festival. The event featured over 100 styles of whiskey and craft spirits that included All-American Ryes and Bourbon and locally produced whiskey from New York State in addition to Japanese Whiskey, Irish Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Tequila, Gin and Vodka. There were also some specialty spirits that were flavored with ginger, lemon and in one case, root beer.
There were many spirits both brown and clear from New York State and New York City because of the explosion of new distilleries to open in both the state and city. That’s because in the early part of the 21st century the state of New York loosened the post Prohibition rules which made it difficult to open a new distillery. The distilleries are able to take advantage of the agricultural bounty of the state to use those local products to make the various craft spirits.
There were plenty of big name labels at the event as well as small, artisanal producers pouring. To focus my efforts I avoided clear spirits and concentrated on the whiskeys, stopping for an occasional Negroni for a change of pace.
The Festival was held at the Brooklyn Expo Center located at 72 Noble Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Lately, this venue has become increasingly popular for wine and spirit events.
Some of what I sampled:
Bulleit: 95 rye, bourbon
Bernheim: small batch wheat whiskey
Catoctin Creek: organic rye
Copper & Kings: reserve cask brandy, bourbon
Elijah Craig: small batch bourbon
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel: select, rye, barrel proof
Journey Man Bourbon
Jefferson’s: very small batch, ocean
Michter’s: straight rye, sour mash, American whiskey
Misunderstood: ginger spiced whiskey
Old Forester: old fine whiskey, original batch
Pine Barrens Single malt
Rough Rider: the big stick rye, bullmoose rye, straight bourbon
Taconic Distillery: straight bourbon, founders rye
Van Brunt Stillhouse: rye, bourbon
IWAI: Japanese Mars Whisky
J. J. Corry Irish Whisky
Sexton Irish Whisky: single malt
Root Out: root beer whiskey
The Real McCoy Rum: 3yr, 5yr, 12yr
The Funk: Jamaican Pot Still Rum
Chief Gowanus Gin