By Tiffany Maleshefski
Last week, San Francisco (well, a small fraction of San Francisco) dug in its heels to celebrate WhiskyWeek, a six-day tasting extravaganza that culminated in a blowout conference at the downtown Marriott on Friday, October 10.
That's right, booth after booth of reps pouring whisky, whiskeys, bourbon, and even a smattering of beer and vodka, all for the very low price of $110 ($150 for VIP). OK, so that admission price is damn steep; but, to quote the marketing materials, "the focus is on education, and many distillery representatives will be on hand at the pouring booths to explain how the whiskeys are made." And since we've always been a sucker for education, we were down for a night of smokey, liquid edification.
And this is what we learned at the 2nd Annual San Francisco WhiskyFest:
1. Whisky distillery representatives are, on the whole, total dicks In fact, most of reps (save for the Japanese distillers) were loathe to talk about their products at all. It was almost as if talking about their products would trigger Armageddon.
2. Women are definitely not capable of enjoying whisky. It’s a good thing that we brought our boyfriend, because we are really just there for the free glass and tote bag.
3. Even if you stand politely next to someone the reps know (like the dude at the Woodford Reserve booth who was trying to sell them on the new book he wrote about Guinness) do not expect anyone to even try to make eye contact with you. Seriously, they are trying to ignore you, so if you could play along, your experience will be that much better.