There’s more to whisky than just the taste. There’s also no right or wrong way to enjoy it - despite what some may say - and this is also true about whisky events. While some may cater towards quiet nights, the WhiskyX stands out loud and proud. That was evident the moment I walked into the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport and saw the stage being prepped for a concert.
The giant venue provided plenty of room for the 60+ whisky vendors to show off their products with gorgeously curated booths and highly knowledgeable ambassadors.
The highlight of my night was watching The House of Machines LA @bad_birddy make smoked Old Fashioneds using Blackened American Whiskey. I’m a firm believer that watching a skilled bartender create your drink adds to its flavor. This experience can bring an extra kick that can possibly change any of your preconceptions or even help you find a new favorite cocktail. That’s just what I experienced watching the smoke imbue the drink with its essence. It’s always a treat to get extra senses involved besides how a drink tastes and smells.
I’m always on the hunt for new cocktails, twists on the classics, and blending whisky with tiki. At last year’s WhiskyX, my favorite was Bulleit’s Rye Tai (which has become a favorite on the menu of my home bar). This year, I was pleasantly pleased by Bird Dog’s punch made with their strawberry-flavored whiskey.
The evening culminated with St. Paul and the Broken Bones as they worked their magic on stage. It was a fitting end to a rocking night and added a musical cherry garnish to the incomparable WhiskyX!