This year, we were invited to Whiskey Obsession in Sarasota, Florida. All I have to say is that I’m glad we were. Multiple nights of amazing events alongside both new and familiar faces made this event one for the books. Meticulously planned by mastermind Turner Moore, this event was a smashing success this year, and I hear that it has been every year before this. I would keep their website bookmarked for next year. It really is worth the flight in for the event.
We started out at a dinner featuring Glenmorangie selections. The theme was “grape vs. grain,” which I thought was perfect. Some people love wine with their dinner, others love whiskey. However, you could be like me and love both at just about any time. The presentation was stunning, and we made some awesome friends over an incredible evening. The pours were more than gracious, allowing you to get a good, solid taste with different bites of the course to get new flavor profiles without being worried you would run out of your selected wine or spirit.
The courses spanned from Orange glazed sea bass with roasted
quinoa and Frangelico buttered carrots, to a decadent Maracaibo Chocolate Pana Cotta with Mint. Each selection was carefully paired with drink selections that accented or highlighted the prominent flavors in the dish. Each one was a success, even the more bold pairings, ones that would take you by surprise, hit their marks and were met with applause every time they began reviewing their reasonings for those specific selections. There wasn’t a single course or selection out of place. It was definitely a dinner to be at.
The dinner was impressive, but the grand tasting was absolutely incredible. The atmosphere at Michaels on East made you take pause. Everything was so perfectly set, and the scents of grilled meat and whiskey floated pleasingly around you throughout the night. The food selections were nothing like you would expect from an event of this magnitude. Each selection was the same quality you would expect from a table-made order at a regular high-brow establishment. It is impressive that they were able to maintain this quality feeding over a hundred whiskey-lovers in unlimited quantities.
We were greeted by kind faces handing us a Whiskey
Obsession branded Glencairn glass, and directed to the tasting room. There were over 50 tables, each with multiple selections. If not for the numbers hovering above each of the vendor tables, one wouldn’t have known where to begin. There was no humanly possible way to try every whiskey there. That’s the mark of the incredible support and backing this event has been able to cultivate over the last five years, and rightfully so. We were able to see some of our personal favorites. Our friends from Kozuba & Sons Distillery, NJoy Spirits with their wildly popular Wild Buck Whiskey, and our friends from Timber Creek (you can find our earlier review of their Florida Bourbon Reserve here), along with making new friends from a slew of different distilleries.
Overall, this event was absolutely incredible. Everything was perfect, everyone that I overheard was talking about how impressed they were, or about how excited they were for next year’s. Honestly, I can’t blame them. Would I come next year? Without a doubt. Would I travel to attend? Tell me where, when, and how much I need to pack. Everything was on point. The food, the selections, and the people behind them came together in a way that couldn’t possibly leave one dissapointed. If you weren’t able to make it this year, keep your finger on Whiskey Obsession’s pulse so that you can buy your tickets, book your hotel, and make travel arrangements the second the details are available for next year.