Recap of First-Ever Global Great Whisk(e)y Debate

Plus, North Carolina Whisk(e)y Fair events you can attend today and tomorrow
Credit: My Windows Phone
The event featured a whiskey challenge, where attendees tried to guess the brand based on the aroma.

Last evening, I had the pleasure of attending the first-ever Global Great Whisk(e)y Debate. The event was put on by Beam, the largest spirits company based in the U.S., and it featured distillers and ambassadors from several top whiskey brands.

I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into the Panthers Den at Bank of America Stadium, which is a very cool special event space inside the massive venue we tend to only associate with Carolina Panthers football. But whiskey tasting and debating was the game plan on this evening.
 
There were at least 200 people in attendance, and during the first 45 minutes or so we bounced around from table to table sampling the incredible food. We were then summoned to our seats, where five glasses of whiskey awaited us at the tables. Four of those brands were represented by the debaters on stage: Dan Tullio, master ambassador, Canadian Whisky (Canadian Club); Simon Brooking, master ambassador, Scotch Whisky (Laphroaig); Kieran Folliard, creator, 2 Gingers Whiskey; and Fred Noe, master distiller and great-grandson of Jim Beam. The debate was moderated by bestselling author Jim Kokoris.
 
The whiskey guys, representing the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and Scotland, engaged in an entertaining—oftentimes hilarious—presidential-style debate about the history, impact, and importance of whiskey, and why their brand is the best. One by one, they instructed us to drink the glass of whiskey that contained their brand, describing to us the different elements and the distilling process. It was all very informative, and quite an experience to taste different samples of whiskey straight, no chaser. The fifth glass was of Maker’s 46, and near the end of the debate, Bill Samuels, president emeritus of Maker’s Mark, came on stage and told some funny anecdotes about whiskey (“The Irish invented a saying, ‘Our whiskey is an acquired taste.’ Bullsh#t,” he said).
 
 
 
 
To many of the people in the audience, these whiskey guys were like rock stars, evident by fans coming up to them afterwards to take photos and get autographs. Charlotte was the first stop of the Global Great Whisk(e)y Debate; it will take place in a handful of other select cities.
 
But before they leave town, in conjunction with last evening’s event, there’s a North Carolina Whisk(e)y Fair going on in Charlotte today and tomorrow. There are several events that are free and open to the public, and featuring the aforementioned whiskey distillers and ambassadors. The schedule is below.
 
Tuesday, May 7
 
Maker’s Mark In-Store Dipping
Featuring Bill Samuels. 4-6 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #6, 4329 Park Rd.
 
Jim Beam “I’m Beam” Custom Label In-Store Experience
Featuring Fred Noe. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #8, 7204 E. Independence Ave.
 
2 Gingers Irish Whiskey Launch
Featuring Kieran Folliard. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #8, 7204 E. Independence Ave.
 
Canadian Whisky ‘Eh! Barrel Making Contest
Featuring Dan Tullio. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #12, 3904-E Colony Rd.
 
Slainte Scotch Whisky Master Class
Featuring Simon Brooking. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #12, 3904-E Colony Rd.
 
Wednesday, May 8
 
Maker’s Mark In-Store Dipping
Featuring John Vicker-Smith. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #21, 16019 Lancaster Hwy.
 
Jim Beam “I’m Beam” Custom Label In-Store Experience
Featuring Adam Harris. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #6, 4329 Park Rd.
 
2 Gingers Irish Whiskey Launch
Featuring Kieran Folliard. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #6, 4329 Park Rd.
 
Canadian Whisky ‘Eh! Barrel Making Contest
Featuring Dan Tullio. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #20, 9630-A University Cir.
 
Slainte Scotch Whisky Master Class
Featuring Simon Brooking. 5-7 p.m. Mecklenburg County ABC Store #20, 9630-A University Cir.
 
Canadian Whisky Smoker: Cigar and Whisky Pairing Event
Featuring Dan Tullio. 9:30-11 p.m. Cutters Cigar Club, 100 W. Trade St.
 
 

Be sure to bookmark www.charlottemagazine.com/Blogs/Dusk-Till-Dawn to stay plugged into Charlotte nightlife. Follow me on Twitter @HollidayInk; email me at jarvish@grownpeopletalking.com.
 
Categories: Dusk Till Dawn