Awards & Events

Whisky Live North America

By Rob Allanson
More than 1700 enthusiasts converged on the Metro Toronto Convention Centre recently to take part in the largest whisky tasting event in Canada.With seven sold out masterclasses, Highland Dancers and the Pipe and Drum Marching Band on stage, full dinner buffet and more brands and expressions to sample than ever before, the show was a packed evening.Joseph Cassidy from one of Toronto’s finest restaurants, Via Allegro, sponsored and conducted the Whisky Cocktail Demonstration and competition.Additionally the Via Allegro Lounge, complete with leather chairs and a very comfortable atmosphere, was a destination of its own. Pouring several great expressions of Scotch, and being more than willing to discuss everything from brands to food pairings, “the lounge” was always full, and a great place to relax.Always looking to broaden the tasting experience, Florida Stone Crab Inc. offered incredible fresh stone crab samples, and Rocket Fuel Coffee provided samples of ultra premium coffee and coffee for the entire event.Unlike the US, the direct sale of whisky at an event is possible. The LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Canada) provided a fully stocked store onsite to make sure patrons were able to take home their newly discovered favorites and as ever this proved popular.• The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, conveniently sandwiched between LA proper and Beverly Hills, was the perfect location for Whisky Live Los Angeles to debut, recently. With more than 700 visitors and a great selection of brands, the inaugural show was a huge success.The LA tasting event debuted the Whisky Live Iron Bartender competition, and Vincenzo Marianella was awarded top mixologist. Whisky Live would like to thank Martin Daraz, brand ambassador for Highland Park, for his generous contribution of the products for the Iron Bartender competition.Taylor’s Cigar Lounge of Long Beach, set up a fantastic area to enjoy a smoke outside the venue.Also present were SipSmokeSavour.com providing chocolate and Scotch pairings.Eight days after Whisky Live Los Angeles, the Whisky Live team headed east to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the first Whisky Live event! The luxurious Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa resonated with Jimmy Buffet and island style music.With more 450 visitors and 28 stands from which to sample, and five master classes including Makers Mark, Yamazaki, The Glenlivet, Classic Malts and concluding with famed Whyte & Mackay Master Blender Richard Paterson speaking on the Dalmore range, the evening was a success.Partnering with Southern Boating Magazine, and the Ft.Lauderdale International Boat Show, Whisky Live tapped into the affluent marine market and hosted many marine VIP’s.Crown Wine and Spirits was on hand to offer special Whisky Live discounts at any of Crown’s 32 stores!