Monday, April 21, 2014

The failure that was Whiskey Rebellion.

The night ended with the sound of "The Girl From Ipanema" echoing from Sassafras and coating 2nd street with live jazz, which was a beautiful end to an interesting day. Of course it only got interesting after my friends and I abandoned Whiskey Rebellion. The event was a disaster, and apparently one that I cannot get a refund for.

I had high hopes for this event, I had really thought that this would be the day I'd be able to find a replacement for Old Powers. I'd taste a ton of whiskey and find one that fit me just perfectly, a bit like Goldie Locks and her porridge. Sadly what I found was that this event was poorly planned, unorganized and that the TLA failed to do their homework.

After waiting in line for a late start, the doors opened about 15-20 minutes later than the ticket time had said, we entered the TLA to be greeted with a small plastic tasting cup and 13 red tickets. Ah, right off the bat we're limiting our ability to try things out, but that's ok, after 13 tastings of whiskey who would even be able to taste booze anymore. Entering the main event space what I found were empty tables, and few liquor reps. In fact, it looked like they just weren't done setting up, perhaps everyone showed up late? I strolled over to a table with signage for Jefferson's Reserve, I chatted with the rep for a bit about his whiskey and then asked to try it.  Here's the part when I found out that all tastings had to be ordered at one of the two bars. The reps were not allowed to give samples for the products they had come to represent. Oh, how strange...but sure alright, we headed to the bar ordered our pours of the Jefferson's Reserve from a bartender who was clearly too irritated for my questions. I'll say that it was my favorite taste of the day, because after this point I just felt rushed and irritated.
After that first try we went to the Buffalo Trace table and chatted with the rep there who said there were different whiskeys upstairs at the bar. We opted to head up there and see what they had to offer, thinking perhaps that bar would have been a bit easier to visit than the one downstairs, which had steadily become covered with people who wanted to booze; like gnats to fruit left out in the summer sun. The upstairs bar offered me a chance to get right up front and grab the cups from my two friends who'd spent money and braved their Sunday to take part in this rebellion with me. I ordered 3 of the bird dog black berry just because I recognized it, and could say it quickly. We handed in our 3 tickets, and I stayed in my spot right on the bar.

Next round, we ordered High West double rye, because I love rye manhattans and who knows, maybe this would do more for me than Bulleit rye, it didn't, but now I know. After this point I became pretty flustered, as the bartenders couldn't handle the amount of people holding tickets out to them and any questions I'd asked about the liquors went unanswered because the bartenders had no idea what the products were like.

We headed back downstairs to seek out the reps who were actually there so that we could try their booze and at least feel like we'd learned something. We tried Angel's Envy...did nothing for me. Then we met Sam the BA for Catoctin Creek who told us a bit about the unaged Mosby's Spirits (which tasted a lot like moonshine) and Roundstone Rye which was alright. After talking to Sam we headed to the bar to try his whiskey and spirits and found that the bar was just overrun. At this point, it was so very difficult to get anyone to place an order for a tasting. We didn't last much longer, and what happened next was we found a spot upstairs, ordered Whistle Pig, was told they were out of it, and this was only at 3:44 the event had only been going for about an hour. We pounded a few random ones, the campfire was like drinking liquid smoke, I couldn't tell you the others and we surrendered the rest of our drink tickets because the event was just to disorganized, the bars were too crowded and the food that Serrano was to have provided was hidden in a corner with hardly any labeling.

It was a cluster fuck. It was awful. I asked for a refund and was told by EatBoston that they can't help me there, so to live nation I go. Maybe the TLA will give me back my money since they were the ones who failed to get the right permissions to have this kind of event. Yes TLA we know you're the assholes here, we talked to the reps who told us you contacted them to make changes 3 days before the event, and then again the day before the event. No wonder the reps didn't show up, they didn't want to be associated with that fucking mess you made me pay $40 for. Cunts. The worst part of all of this is that according to the email I received from EatBoston they KNEW it was going to be a mess, but didn't cancel the event. He mentioned that they didn't know that the health department would require permits? The health department ALWAYS requires permits. The TLA dropped the ball big time on this one.

After we made our escape from the gruesome scene at Whiskey Rebellion (before 4pm) we headed up the street to find redemption with the darling Katie Loeb at Headhouse Crab & Oyster Co. She let us try a delicious Cinnamon Whiskey she's been infusing that is just incredibly smooth and wonderful. As we ate, one of the liquor reps from a brand that sounds a lot like sullymoredue came in and offered us all a shot as her way of apologizing for the hot mess that we'd just suffered at Whiskey Rebellion. We gladly accepted and then moved onto Sassafras because, it's on the way home.

In my world it all comes back to Sass and when I need a smile, I find one there. Sometimes it's in the extra dirty martini I order so that the gin will clean out the leftover flavor of liquid smoke I haven't been able to get rid of. Sometimes the smile comes when I leave and take in the beautiful sounds of jazz on second street, on a warm spring night in Old City after a terrible booze event.


Stay drunk, Bitches!

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