Pittsburgh Whiskey and Fine Spirits Festival draws connoisseurs
A crowd of more than 1,000 connoisseurs came ready to put another week spent dancing the salary samba on the rocks during the Pittsburgh Whiskey and Fine Spirits Festival at the West Club Lounge of Heinz Field on Friday night, where a line of downtownies and subourbanites seemingly stretched halfway into the North Side about 15 minutes before the doors even opened.
Choosing from a liquid rainbow of elixirs that included rums, vodkas, gins, scotch and whiskeys, there were a few labels that caught our attention straight up, including a shot of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey (boasting the apropos tagline of Tastes Like Heaven, Burns Like Hell) and a 140-proof bottle of George T. Stagg bourbon that undoubtedly would have kept us busy pondering the Seven Wonders of the World had we even dared.
"No chugging it! Just sipping!" laughed operations manager Max Miller .
Having previously earned a reputation as being a snifter for the stiff upper lips, the top brass made it their mission to appeal to a wider demographic, specifically targeting the Gen-Xers and social sceners. Judging by the crowd that ran the gamut from flannel to high falootin, it goes without saying that this easily could be considered mission, accomplished.
"It was a little stale when we first did it, but this year, we tried to appeal to the younger crowd. Encouraging drinking responsibly, of course!" explained GM Dale Markham .
And remain responsible and respectable the vast majority did; so much so that 90 minutes and a few taste tests in, and we were beginning to wonder when the suits were going to at least loosen up their ties.
"It's only 8 o'clock! Come back and check with us in thirty minutes!" Jeff Harrison joked.
Getting into the spirit of things to raise vital funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society were MS chapter vice prexy Anne Mageras ; festival prez Ed Harrell ; Fred Booker Noe III (great grandson of Jim Beam); Bobby "G" Gleason (holds the Guinness Book of World Records for 253 cocktails made in 60 minutes); Bernie Lubbers; Ricky Crawford (in from Scotland); John Vickers-Smith; Ken McCrory; Bob McCrory; Victoria Berdnik and Bob Haggerty; Tina Scalese; Jackie Hucko; Brian Supler; Dave Cohen; Jeff and Becky Mancuso; Shelly Hoyt and J ohn Sidani; Tony Ciotti; Mike Connley; Jamie Seabrook; David Armstrong; Morgan McCollum; Sheila Sulkowski; Lauren DiMara; Eric Boduch; Jeff Butler; Joe Benik; Dan Ryan; Al Isiminger; Rick and Ron DeShantz; Emily and Matt Costigan; Ryan Corbett; Julie Kresen; Geoff Barnes; Christian Lockerman; Jennifer Neelan; Natalie Sweeney; Kyle Gloff ; and Brett Unangst .
Pittsburgh Whiskey/Fine Spirits Festival
Pittsburgh Whiskey and Fine Spirits Festival to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Friday, November, 13, 2009.
Polish Cultural Council's Bal Polonaise held at the Westin Convention Center Hotel, saturday, November 14, 2009.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Roundup: PUC schedules hearings for FirstEnergy rate increase; New-home sales almost flat in September; more
- WPIAL football playoff clinchings
- Serra Catholic snaps 28-game losing streak with 38-36 victory over Wilkinsburg
- Connellsville reaches playoff despite blowout loss
- Kittanning routs Ford City in rivalry’s final game
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Clairton runs past Leechburg for PIAA record
- BVA enters playoffs with 3 straight wins
- Freeport man accused of having child pornography images
- Lower Burrell man charged with shoplifting
- Charleroi can’t overcome 28-0 hole