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Los Angeles Magazine's Whiskey Festival 2022 Highlights

Los Angeles Magazine's Whiskey Festival brings together the best selection of spirits and distillers from around the world for an unforgettable evening of liquid bliss.

This year's event was hosted by The Bloc DTLA with featured whiskies: Maker’s Mark, Aberfeldy, Bardstown Bourbon Co., Basil Hayden, Broken Barrel Whiskey Co., CALI Distillery, Corbin Cash, Craigellachie, Four Roses Bourbon, Kujira Whisky, Noble Oak, Okinawa Gin, Old Hillside Bourbon Co., Sagamore, Shinobu Whisky, Teeling, Uncle Nearest, Virginia Distillery, Westward Whiskey, Wyoming Whiskey.

The big trend for 2022 seemed to be the melding of the worlds of whiskey and rum.

Cask Strength offerings were plentiful this year. This is a method of not limiting the dilution of the spirit after being placed in the cask for maturation. It nurtures the essence of the true flavor profile, and allows consumers to be the judge on how much dilution is needed. It’s typically found in whiskies and rum, but I’ve often found it more plentiful with the latter.

Sagamore Spirit’s award winning Cask Strength Rye Whiskey is one of the best examples of the blend with a thorough 7 year aging that brings out warm molasses to the tongue and savory notes of spice. Best sipped straight with a large piece of ice.

Bardstown Bourbon Company elevated the evening with select samples from their collaborative Plantation Rum Barrel series release. This 10-year-old Tennessee bourbon is finished for 22 months in Plantation’s rum barrels, creating one of the tastiest unions of spirits imaginable.

Easily the best cocktail was the riff on a Gold Rush from Aberfeldy, mixing their 12 year Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky with lime and their artisan Barrels & Bees honey syrup.

I was also delighted to sample the freshly rolled smokes from El Cañito Cigars. These masterful rollers use only Cuban seed tobacco grown in the Dominican Republic to create cigars that transport you to warm tropical beaches with every puff. I discovered that pairing their freshly rolled Robusto with the bold flavors of CALI Distillery’s Three Rivers Rye is the perfect way to relax into the weekend.

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