Drink Magazine

Spirits Confidential Philadelphia

By Boozedancing @boozedancing

Spirits Confidential Philadelphia

Some days it’s okay to have a little hangover. Today is one of those days.

Some days it’s great to be a Booze Dancer. Yesterday was that day.

Last night our friends at Beam Global invited us to join them at a fabulous event they hosted at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.  The event brought together Master Distillers and Brand Ambassadors from Beam’s core spirit brands and associated brands for a night of tastings, good food, great stories, and a little spirits education.

The evening started with a VIP panel which featured “confidential” tales told by distillers, ambassadors, and master mixologists representing the following brands:

  • Maker’s Mark
  • Cruzan Rum
  • Thatcher Organic Artisan Liqueurs
  • Canadian Club
  • Knob Creek
  • Sauza Tequila

The panel was more fun stories than facts and education, but was a fun way to start the evening.  The highlight of the panel were the stories told by Bill Samuels, Jr. of Maker’s Mark.  Bill’s tales of his history in the family business and the bourbon industry were hilarious!  Bill could do a traveling show where he just told his stories, and people would line-up to see it.

After the panel presentation we were left to explore brand tables, sample some unique cocktails, and grab a bite to eat.  Along with the brands listed above, there were tables representing Courvoisier, EFFEN Vodka, Skinny Girl Cocktails, Connemarra, Kilbeggan, and Laphroaig.

Spirits Confidential Philadelphia

Some tables had great ambassadors where we could learn more about each brand’s offering, and others were just opportunities to taste new things.  All together it was a fantastic event and a lot of fun.  Highlights from the night include:

  • Best Ambassador - Bill Samuels, Jr (Makers Mark) — hands down Bill was the hit of the panel and fun to speak with at the Makers Mark table.
  • Best New Spirit – Knob Creek Rye — Look for this hitting the PA/NJ area around June or July.  If you like the sweetness of Bourbon, the bite of Scotch, the Spice of Rum, and the herbal notes of Gin this may be your new “go to” drink.  I am sure we’ll have a detailed review soon.
  • Best Swag – Maker’s Mark’s hand dipped shot glass — very cool!
  • Best Discovery - Thatcher’s Organic Artisan Liqueurs — these are not the sickeningly sweet liqueurs used by “Woo Girls” for making shots, but botanical infused flavor bombs that are great to add deep layers of herb and fruit flavors to any cocktail.
  • Best Booze Dancer Performance - G-LO — He bested all the Boozer Dancers and some other notable spirits experts in a nosing contest matching 6 of 8 spirits to their brand based on smell and color alone.  For his efforts he won a mini Beam Barrel autographed by all the ambassadors. Then I stole it from him!

Spirits Confidential Philadelphia

Overall, in the event was a lot of fun.  The only thing I would change/add to this event (and most other spirits events) is to have some take away handout with a recap of the brands that were there, their offerings, and recipes to the cocktails that were offered.  After sampling a couple dozen spirits I can’t be expected to remember everything!

Thanks to Beam Global for including us in the event and to all the Ambassadors for their time, stories, and knowledge.


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