Cocktails & Spirits

The Latest Finishes and Flavors Take Center Stage at Whiskies of the World

Prepare to sip up a storm with the likes of Widow Jane.
Prepare to sip up a storm with the likes of Widow Jane. Agency 21/Whiskies of the World photo
A whiskey event that promises the world is coming to Miami.

With San Francisco roots dating back 20 years, Whiskies of the World has evolved into a powerhouse domestic tour showcasing the latest whiskey expressions with unique insight into one of America's favorite spirits.

The South Florida event will happen on Saturday, December 10, at Gulfstream Park. According to organizers, more than 200 different types of whiskey from all corners of the globe will be available for tasting. And where other spirit fests may be designed to emit a total slosh-fest, this one is all about education.

"This is not just an all-you-can-drink affair, but it's about capturing the spirit of the craft," says Lauren Melamed, director of integrated marketing for Agency 21, which produces and owns the event. "The whiskey community is really upstanding and constantly evolving with new brands, production methods, and so much more. This is the place to learn about the craft in a fun way."

Among the confirmed brands for the event — with others being solidified by the day — are Hotaling & Co., Angel's Envy, Uncle Nearest, Widow Jane, and Virginia Distillery Co. Beyond tastings offered up neat, other core components to the experience include whiskey-infused cocktails, cigar demos, and special master classes with industry leaders.

This year's master classes include an intimate engagement with the head distiller of Garrison Brothers as well as a cigar-centric presentation by Plasencia. As for the trends to taste firsthand, Melamed has a few qualities to keep a lookout for.

"Across the board, we are seeing more unique barrel finishes and wood influences in some of the whiskies being released this year," she says. "We've also seen an increase in American blending, including mixing of whiskey types and styles, like bourbon and rye, to create something truly unique from sourced whiskeys. There is also continued innovation in flavors, like Jameson Orange."

Melamed also notes the evolving single malt landscape to experience at Whiskies of the World. Once solely stemming from Irish and Scottish distilleries, award-winning single malts from throughout the world — e.g., Australia — are emerging more and more.

On the ticketing front, master classes — at $5 per class — are open to general admission ($99) and VIP ($150) ticket holders on a first-come basis, with capacity maxed at 40. VIP tickets include early entry by 45 minutes, priority reservations to master classes, and exclusive access to high-end whiskies and culinary bites.

Whiskies of the World. 6:45 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, December 10, at Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Hwy., Hallandale Beach; whiskiesoftheworld.com. Tickets cost $99 to $150.
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.

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