Sitting at the desk, looking out over parts of Las Vegas from a high floor at the Hilton, thinking; I came, I saw, I sipped, I tasted, I experienced.

There are those times in your life when you experience something, an event, that whether organized or random, that fundamentally changes the way you see things. The Universal Whisky event at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas, organized and beautifully executed by Mahesh Patel was one of those events for me. 

For a person who has always enjoyed scotch, even inexpensive blends, this was my introduction to the world of fine scotch whisky. What I knew was going to be a great education was so much more! And I have possibly ruined my taste buds appreciation for common scotch. For myself, it was a graduate level course taught by the people who actually matter.

Richard Paterson, Master Blender for Whythe & Mackay, introduced us many fine Dalmore products that are out there and some that have just been introduced. His passion and experience come out as he explains how he has tirelessly yet with great pleasure experimented and worked with fine spirits to produce stunning products. I’m typically a fast learner on any subject and have an intuitiveness that far outpaces my ability to study. My brain was in hyperdrive listening to Richard! One, because he is Scottish and I’m from Atlanta. Two, he covered so many topics in such a short time there was hardly enough time for my brain to tag the information as it came in. Richard’s main message was clear, these very fine whisky’s are to be sipped and enjoyed. And please, please, please!!! Bartenders around the world, do not put ice in this man’s scotch!! You will not like his response.

It is hard to come away with a highlight from this event, there are so many and its hard to quantify what was best, sampling Bowmore Gold from 1964 that is $7,000 (U.S.) a bottle or the Bowmore 1969 which will go on sale for $12,000, which was delicious and special for me because it is my birth year. There will only be seven bottles sold in the USA. Or was it sampling the launch of Sirius by Mahesh Patel? The work and pursuit of excellent whisky’s has enabled Mahesh to produce some stunning new whisky’s, two of which I was privileged to sample. The first was a 1965 Carsebridge grain whiskey that was wonderful. The second was a 1967 Dalmore that was not just incredible, it has an ABV (alcohol content by volume) of 60%. You would never know it!!!! These are single cask rare (Carsebridge distillery no longer exists!) whisky’s that are going to be available soon and it is exciting to see such a product is entering the market. Truly first class presentation and detail are associated with Sirius. This is what you buy the person who has everything! It would be a gift never forgotten. I will definitely be writing a lot on this event. I’m hoping my notes are better than my memory! When you sample that much scotch, things tend to run together no?

Alas, an event is only as good as its people. I met more fine people than I can recall, and hopefully have their cards or twitter account. The kind of people who are purveyors and students of the finer things in life were absolutely present here. This was an event that lives up to my idea of The Scotch Life.

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