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American Whiskey Convention – Philadelphia, PA

American Whiskey Convention

(The following is a special series on written by guest contributing writer and correspondent for “Small Bites Radio” William Knowles. He highlights his passions of trying something new whenever the opportunity presents itself, or possibly something old, but new again since it has been a while. I hope you enjoy his very special perspective that I am sure many of you can relate to. Follow him on his exciting journey “Around Town”)

On Friday evening, March 24th, I had the good fortune of attending an event in the luxury Hall of Fame Club at Citizens Bank Park.  The home of the Phillies had no ball games on this night, but instead hosted the country’s finest distillers and distributors for the American Whiskey Convention.

During the course of the event, I was able to sample some of the best whiskeys and bourbons around, with over 50 vendor’s present.  Some of the most well known names in the biz were there – Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s, Evan Williams, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey and Buffalo Trace were all onsite.  The true highlight of these events though is the opportunity to try something new, or maybe have never even heard of…

Among the many tastes that I sampled from others not as well know, but regardless had an equal (if not superior) product were: Wigle, Big Spring Spirits, Whistlepig, Filibuster, Hidden Still Spirits, Manayunk Moonshine, Bulleit Bourbon, Five Saints, Hewn, Calumet Farm, Rittenhouse Rye and George Dickel.  All of the representatives were enthusiastic and eager to discuss their product and demonstrate what makes them unique…

Food was generously spread out for enjoyment, with some of the vendors bringing their special whiskey based creations.  Masey & Leigh maple syrup manufacturers showed off their spread of whiskey and rye syrups, which were awesome to taste.  John & Kira’s Chocolates, a local favorite, had some bourbon infused treats.  There also were numerous exhibits showing how whiskey is distilled; book, craft and novelty items for sale, as well as tasting contests…

Many notable guests were on hand for the events to discuss their craft.  Jimmy Russell (of Wild Turkey fame), noted author Lew Bryson, historian Fred Minnick and others presided over forums about their love of the drink, and their thoughts on modern day distilling.

The event was well worth attending if you enjoy all things whiskey, and had a great turn out.  The organizers did a fine job in utilizing the unique setting of this part of the ballpark to make the evening even more special.  Keep your eyes peeled for the next convention of this sort, “around town”…and I will see you there!

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