I’m not saying that the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival that was held at la.venue on the West Side of Manhattan Saturday was geared toward men, but the first thing I saw when walking into the venue (pun intended) was a young, attractive blond woman in a checkered shirt with most of the buttons undone, tied in a knot at the bottom, and Daisy Duke shorts, and she was holding a plate of bacon. You do the math.
All kidding aside, plenty of women were there enjoying the festivities, as well, and any woman who likes any combination of beer, bourbon, bacon and barbecue is OK in my book.
I am by no means trying to pass myself off as an expert, nor am I claiming that the brands I’m about to recommend should be considered the best, but a few of the spirits I tried left impressions, and I wanted to share those.
Buffalo Trace a Kentucky bourbon, was one of the more hearty samples of the day.
I had tried Woodford Reserve previously and, while I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t that impressed, either. I don’t know what I was thinking. This was one of the best spirits I tried Saturday, if not the best, and a bottle will adorn my shelf soon.
Once I was done chuckling at the name, because acting like Beavis or Butt-head will apparently never leave my system, I also enjoyed George Dickle, another Tennessee whisky.
1792 Ridgemont Reserve was probably my favorite bourbon. I’m not going to try to throw reviewers’ terms into this blog. All I can say is I took one sip, pulled the glass away from my mouth and could do nothing but exclaim, “Wow!”
Blanton’s Single Barrel was another fantastic bourbon. One of my friends had enjoyed it before, and she (yes, she, believe it or not) was spot-on with her recommendation.
One of the more interesting spirits I tried was Hudson New York Corn Whiskey. I’m pretty sure that if I poured this stuff into the gas tank of my Honda Accord, the car would run. I actually really enjoyed it, but I seriously doubt I could drink more than one. It was one of the strongest things I’ve ever tasted.
As far as beer, I had already tried most of the selections at the show, but other than the joke of Coors Light having a table there (give me a break), it was a stellar beer selection.
One of the beers that were new to me was Sixpoint Sweet Action. This was an outstanding cream ale, and that’s a style I don’t drink very often.
My favorite beer at the show, by far, was the Heartland Brewing Sumatra Porter with Chicory. This stuff tasted like very strong, very good coffee, and it was the only beer that made me go back for seconds (thirds, too, if I recall correctly).
A San Francisco-based brewery called Speakeasy brought two very solid brews: Big Daddy IPA and Prohibition Ale. Both are highly recommended.
I’m sure there were a few other bourbons and beers that I enjoyed, but cut me some slack: After all, I was drinking all day!
In any event, if the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival comes to your city, do NOT miss it. Trust me.