Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 Bourbon & Bacon Fest Denver and Stewards Solera



Recently, I attended the 2016 Bourbon and Bacon Fest in Denver at The Fillmore...

This was my first year attending this event and I am of the understanding its in the third or fourth year running. I heard about it later than I should have. I don't know how, but I found out about it two days before and the VIP tickets were long sold out... 

I reached out to as many people as possible that I knew in the beer, whiskey, wine, and hospitality industries in Boulder/Denver to scrounge up VIP access with zero success...

Regardless I was going, VIP or no VIP...

When I arrived at the Fillmore in my LYFT from Union Station since I public transit'd it from Boulder(maintaining a healthy global footprint aka Boulder) I was pretty surprised at the long line waiting to get it..

I thought to my self, "damn.. this many people are into Bourbon in the area and are they as obsessed about it as I am!?!?!"...

The answer is yes and yes!!!!

So I walked my happy ass to the back of the line and people watched for about 40 minutes while I waited for the line to start moving... 

I laughed to myself because I looked like such a loser in line all by myself. Everyone was coupled up, bro'd up, or family'd up. I prefer to go to these events alone so I can shake hands, kiss babies, and most importantly enjoy and break down some whiskey in the corner like a weirdo all by myself!!!

I must say #girlpower... A lot of woman were at the event slug'n bourbon, cheers to that!!!! While waiting in line I met a mother/daughter combo enjoying the event and we chatted about local whiskey and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail...

Tons of food offerings presented by local chefs, restaurant groups, and other food concepts with the obvious bourbon and bacon themes, it all smelled great, but I was there for the bourbon..

I don't know the exact amount of the bottles that were being poured, but definitely a good amount. 

Lines were long at first but eventually fizzled out as time went on. I waited 30 minutes for a pour of Weller 12 and 107, but my buddy Buzz from Hazels gave me the ticket and he was working the Buffalo Trace booth say I had to thank him and say whats up!!!

I pretty much sampled all of the mainstream bourbons in house, I also sampled most of the craft whiskeys but passed on a few because I just wasn't interested. I also ended up with 3 glasses, so that helped me knock out many birds with few stones, haha!!!

However, I saw a booth set up with a bourbon I've been somewhat intrigued with for the last few months and stared at it from afar when passing it on the store shelves..

That company and Bourbon is Stewards Solera 100 Proof Whiskey

I've perv'd it on the shelf for the last year or so and I've also read Josh's review at RW&B Stewards Solera countless times, and the credentials inside the bottle have theoretically always looked good. 

But, I've yet to pull the trigger.. So I walked up to the booth and got a pour. I wasn't expecting much, but as I let it breathe, I was like this is pretty solid...

Caramel, vanilla, spice, doesn't seem very young or old, lots of layers, kind of rough around the edges but balanced at the same time...

I was like WTF, I need to get another pour of this. So thats exactly what I did. Than I went into a corner and broke down the glass and decided I was a fan so far... After two pours I went back up to the Stewards Solera booth grabbed my third pour and struck up a conversation with Rich Anders. 

Rich and I chatted it up for about 20 minutes, he never broke his stride pouring samples for others, luckily they had two guys(I believe the other was Kevin, sorry if I am wrong) at the booth pouring samples and talking about the brand...

Rich talked about the 8 different whiskeys and where they came from that are all used in the blends. 

He chatted about the blends and programs they do now, and the type of the stuff they plan on doing in the near future... In-house distilling is a progression Rich talked about, but for now they're sourcing great barrels of bourbon direct from the distillers, we'd all be jumping through hoops to get, and Rich is pumping out some pretty awesome blends with those tasty, popular, sought after whiskeys...

I was also fortunate to chat with some local people that came up to me and said they read the blog, so that was cool, and I took them all over to the Stewards Solera booth and said it was my favorite at the event, not like that actually means anything though!!!

The one and only person to ever comment on a post of mine, Cascade LeSage and I met at the event and now we talk bourbon all the time together, Cheers brother!!!

Overall.... great event Denver, "I'll be back" - The Arnold 


Cheers, Alex @bourbonboomed