For the third go-round of Whiskey in the Winter, the offerings are more plentiful than ever, says Jennifer Milward, project manager for Synergy, which produces the event. Last year’s event was a sell-out, and this year’s is expected to sell out as well with an expected 1,300 to 1,400 whiskey lovers.
What is Whiskey in the Winter all about? It’s a massive St. Louis whiskey festival. We have 328 whiskeys, to be exact. It keeps growing. Along with the grand tasting, we have other cool elements like educational seminars with a lot of pretty impressive people coming to speak, like Jim Beam’s grandson, Fred Noe. There’ll be food stations and whiskey cocktail bars.
To what do you attribute the event’s growth? Whiskey is a very trendy spirit right now. People want to be on the whiskey bandwagon. And we have all the big dogs involved, and more and more smaller distilleries are coming and showing their products as well. So many people are wanting to learn about whiskey.
What’s one of the most important things for people to learn about whiskey? What makes something whiskey and what makes something bourbon. When you taste it, it all tastes the same. But they’re not the same thing.
You can come and learn so much about whiskey. A lot of the people who are coming are very eager to learn. Whiskey 101 (a seminar) talks about what you need to know about whiskey.
What makes whiskey so great in the winter? It warms your body up. That’s why it’s known as a wintery drink.
Have there been any challenges involved in putting on a whiskey event in a beer town? We find that people that are buying these tickets aren’t all necessarily from St. Louis. They’re coming from all over the place. ... People love their whiskey, and mixologists don’t wanna mix it with vodka or something flavorless. It’s so distinct.
What Whiskey in the Winter • When 6-9:30 p.m. Saturday • Where Hyatt Regency St. Louis, 315 Chestnut Street • How much $95 general admission, $125 VIP, $35 designated driver • More info whiskeyinthewinter.com