I had the privilege of attending The Whisky Extravaganza, an event that featured close to 40 Single-Malt and Blended Scotch Whisky Brands.  Guests were allowed to taste over 100 impressions during the evening. As for myself, i approached this occasion as a novice and a budding connoisseur.

Let’s face it, out of all the spirit categories, Whisky has to be one of the most elusive. Which is why I approached this event as a student and I wanted to leave as a new appreciator of Whisky.

Dewar’s was the 1st booth I stopped at.   As a non-Whisky drinker it was the most recognizable brand at the event.  I had an informative chat with Gabe Cardarella, the Dewar’s Brand Ambassador as he introduced me to their signature Blended Whisky assortment.  There are 4 steps to sample a dram of Whisky:  1) Swirl   2) Sniff  3) Sip and 4) Savor

After following these steps, by far my favorite was Dewar’s 18, it was smooth and mellow.  I could see myself buying this and having it stocked in my liquor cabinet as I enjoy a cigar on my patio.


Gabe Cardarella


I also sampled drams of their new Single Malt Scotches:  Aberfeldy, Royal Brackla and Deveron just to name a few.  I felt like I was permitted to drink a Whisky enthusiasts stash of their good stuff!  One distinct difference I learned between Blended Scotch and Single Malt Scotch is that Single Malts have more of a smoky aroma and flavor.  This I was told was from the use of peat rock. Peat influences the level of smokiness of Scotch.


By now you can figure out that I have had more than my share of Whisky after several samples at Dewar’s booth.  It was time to drink some water and plan my next stop.

Usquaebach!  An unusual name that I couldn’t pronounce was my next adventure.  Usqueabach (pronounced Oos: Ke: Bah) is Gaelic for “Water of Life” which is Whisky!  Usqueabach produces Blended Scotch Whiskies which  I’ve discovered is now my preference.   This brand is absolutely phenomenal!  I tasted their 15 year old, the Reserve and the “Old-Rare” Flagon.  I was sold on them all.  I even encouraged passers-by to stop and taste! Yes it’s a funny name but there’s nothing funny about how well this Whisky is made.


Throughout the evening I’ve tasted many other brands:  Auchentoshan, Balvenie, MacCallan, Knappogue Castle, Abelour, and Glenfiddich.


As a parting gift, all attendees received a Scotch infused Cigar which i’m very anxious to try, but first I need to pick up a bottle of Dewar’s 18 to complement my smoke!  Cheers!