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Where to Go to Celebrate SF Whisky Week

A table of enticing options at last year's fest.
A table of enticing options at last year's fest.
Photo: WhiskyFest

WhiskyFest, the annual celebration of all things brown and distilled, is happening tomorrow, but even those who missed out on tickets to the sold-out event can still get a taste of the good stuff, via a bunch of events happening surrounding the festival. Known as Whisky Week, it makes the best of the presence of all those distillers and brand ambassadors already in town for the main event, funneling them into more intimate settings than drinkers will encounter at the festival itself.

Three events are going down tonight for Whisky Week. The first is a back-to-back pair of tastings at Elixir, one of the event's most stalwart participants (and home of one of SF's finest collections of the spirit). At 5 pm, Glenmorangie brand ambassador David Blackmore will lead a tasting of the Scotch's various expressions, to be followed at 7 pm by a tasting of Angel's Envy with bourbon with founder Wes Henderson. (Sadly, Henderson's father Lincoln, the legendary founder of the brand, passed away last week.) Admission to both events is free, but they'll fill up, so get there early.

Meanwhile, over at Per Diem, Whistlepig distiller Dave Pickerell will lead a tasting of his acclaimed rye (which even made a cameo on Breaking Bad) at 6 pm, to be followed by discounted cocktails from Per Diem's bar team. Nearby, at the Whisky Shop, Compass Box's blended Scotches will be offered in a free tasting from 5-7 pm.

If skipping out on work tomorrow is a possibility, there's also a nifty Four Roses event going down at noon at Elixir, with a private tasting of eight of their single-barrel bourbons, plus snacks from Healthy Spirits and a discussion of building a whiskey collection. Master Distiller Jim Rutledge will be on hand to sell and sign bottles and discuss his process; admission is $45. And for those who did manage to snag a ticket to WhiskyFest (and aren't already blotto from sampling at the fest), Few Spirits will be throwing an afterparty at 83 Proof tomorrow night, beginning at 10 pm.

· Whisky Week San Francisco Events [WhiskyFest]