The Hippo


Apr 20, 2019








Distiller’s Showcase of Premium Spirits. Courtesy photo.

Participating restaurants 

Amphora Fine Greek Dining (Derry)
Bedford Village Inn (Bedford) 
Campo Enoteca (Manchester)
Canoe Restaurant & Tavern (Center Harbor, Bedford) 
The Common Man (Concord, Merrimack, Windham, Ashland, Lincoln, Claremont)
Faro Italian Grille (Laconia)
The Fresh Market (Bedford)
Giorgio’s Ristorante (Merrimack, Milford, Manchester)
Ignite Bar & Grille and Hooked Seafood Restaurant (Manchester)
JD’s Tavern (Manchester)
O Steaks & Seafood (Concord, Laconia)
The Quill Restaurant at Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester)
Republic Cafe (Manchester) 
Stark Brewing Company (Manchester)
Stella Blu (Nashua)
Tuscan Kitchen (Salem) 
Veranda Martini Bar and Grille (Manchester) 
Wild Rover Pub (Manchester)
XO on Elm (Manchester) 
Participating local distilleries 
Djinn Spirits (Nashua)
Fabrizia Spirits (Salem) 
Flag Hill Distillery (Lee) 
New England Sweetwater Farm and Distillery (Winchester)
Sea Hagg Distillery (North Hampton) 
Smoky Quartz Distillery (Seabrook)
Stark Brewing Company (Manchester)
Tall Ship Distillery (Dover) 
Tamworth Distilling (Tamworth)
Distiller’s Showcase of Premium Spirits
Where: Radisson Hotel Manchester, 700 Elm St., Manchester
When: Thursday, Nov. 10, 6 to 8:30 p.m. 
Cost: $60. Purchase tickets at Proceeds benefit the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire. 

Showing some spirit
Distiller’s Showcase returns to Manchester

By Angie Sykeny

 From peach pecan whiskey to blueberry rum, more than 400 spirits will be featured at one of the largest spirits tasting events on the East Coast. The Distiller’s Showcase of Premium Spirits is happening Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Radisson Hotel Manchester. There will be samples from local distillers and some of the world’s top brands, food from New Hampshire restaurants, special guests and a silent auction.   

“This is a premium spirits event, meaning it will only have products over a certain price point,” said Mark Roy, spirits marketing and sales specialist for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, which is hosting the event. “It’s a big opportunity for those companies because most people are hesitant to drop $200 on a bottle of something they don’t know, but [at the showcase] they can try it and see if it’s really worth the price.” 
The ballroom and armory will be filled with nearly 150 tables of food and spirits, including whiskey, Scotch, tequila, vodka, rum, gin, cordials and liqueurs. The participating vendors are distilleries close to home, such as Djinn Spirits of Nashua and Flag Hill Distillery of Lee, as well as renowned brands from around the world, like Grey Goose, Jack Daniel’s, Patron, Tanqueray and many more. Each can bring up to four varieties of spirits, and they’re encouraged to offer their samples in both a straight and cocktail form. 
Roy recommends that guests pace themselves and take advantage of the food samplings and non-alcoholic drinks to make the most out of the tasting. 
“Don’t try to hit every table,” he said. “Pick and choose what spirits really pique your interest or spirits you’ve never had a chance to try.”  
People will be able to order spirits onsite at a 10-percent discount through a mobile ordering app developed by the Liquor Commission. Their purchases will be available to pick up at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet locations of their choosing. 
There will be a dozen notable personalities from the spirits industry at the event, pouring samples and talking with attendees. Headlining is Bert “Tito” Beveridge, founder and master distiller of Tito’s Handmade Vodka in Texas. Beveridge will be joined by Dave and Will Willis, founders of Bully Boy Distillers in Boston; André Marcoux, head distiller at Stark Brewing Company in Manchester; Brian Ferguson, owner and distiller of Flag Hill Distillery in Lee, and others. 
At this year’s showcase auction, guests will have the chance to bid on three bottles of the rare Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23-year straight bourbon from Kentucky, and an all-inclusive trip for two to Scotland to visit some of the most historic Scotch distilleries. 
“As far as what’s trending right now, there’s a big resurgence of bourbon and whiskey, particularly a lot of high-end bourbon and whiskey,” Roy said, “so the auction is going to be a big draw.” 
There will also be a raffle for a bottle of the same Pappy Van Winkle’s bourbon and an exclusive Pappy Van Winkle tasting and fine dining experience in New Hampshire. 
Roy said the showcase will appeal to people with any level of interest in spirits, from casual drinkers to connoisseurs. 
“There are certainly a lot of people who come and say, ‘I’m not a big spirits drinker, but I want to come and try things that I can’t normally try,’” he said. “It’s very laid back and not an event that anyone should be intimidated by.” 

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