Event Schedule


Seventh Annual Whiskey Obsession Festival

April 10 to 13, 2019

Sarasota, Florida

Schedule of Events, Panelists, and Masterclasses

Spirit Guide, Inc. presents the Seventh Annual Whiskey Obsession Festival, April 10 to 13, 2019 in Sarasota, Florida, in partnership with Whiskey and Barrel Nite and Dave Sweet. Whiskey Obsession presents four days of classes, tastings, lunch and dinner pairings, interactive panel discussions, VIP pours, a fabulous grand tasting with hundreds of whiskies and cocktails, plus free closing night party with live music. Last year, Whiskey Obsession attracted 3,500 attendees from 20 states and Canada and is one of the nation’s largest festivals. Take your friends and take a cab!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Whiskey Obsession Kickoff Dinner @ Sarasota Yacht Club (SYC), 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Deconstruction of the Balcones Texas Single Malt with Winston Edwards The Seventh Annual Whiskey Obsession Festival kicks off with an elegant dinner pairing hosted by Winston Edwards, Balcones National Distillery Ambassador featuring a special four course menu from executive chef Anthony Puccio. Experience the three wood finished whiskies that make up the Texas Single Malt, bottled exclusively by Barrel and Bottle, along with the official Texas Single Malt from Balcones. Tickets are $125 per person. Open to the public; SYC membership not required.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Two Panelist Small Group Dinners @ The Hyatt Sarasota, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $125 per person for either dinner and include meal, whiskies and commemorative Tervis custom tumbler. Limited to 20 guests each.

World Whiskey Dinner

Join Ashok Chokalingam, Global Ambassador and Assistant Distiller at Amrut Distillery for an intimate three course dinner featuring four award winning whiskies from Bengaluru, India: Amrut Single Malt, Amrut Fusion Single Malt, Amrut Peated Single Malt, and Amrut Naarangi Single Malt.

Single Malt Scotch Dinner

Join Benjamin Boice, Brand Ambassador at Jura Single Malt for an intimate dinner paired with four Scotch whiskies: Jura 10 Year, Jura 12 Year, Jura Seven Wood and a surprise.


The Panel of Whiskey Experts Interactive Tasting @ The Hyatt Sarasota, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

This unique panel of distillers and ambassadors share their award winning whiskies from Colorado, Scotland, and India in an interactive tasting. The panel is co-moderated by Samara Rivers and Turner C. Moore. Tickets are $75 and seating is limited to 130 guests. Panelists and whiskies:

Jenny Bartels, Brand Ambassador at Breckenridge (Breckenridge PX Sherry Cask Bourbon)
Rob Dietrich, Master Distiller at Stranahan’s (Stranahan’s Snowflake)
Ashok Chokalingam, Assistant to Master Distiller at Amrut (Amrut Madeira Cask)
Nicholas Pollacchi, Single Malt Director at Whyte and Mackay (Jura 18 Year)
Stephanie Ridgway, Manager of Brand Education at International Beverage (Speyburn 15 Year)
Raj Sabharwal, Founder at Glass Revolution Imports (Murray McDavid Ordha Meas 13 Year)
Corky Taylor, Chairman at Peerless (3 Year Small Batch Rye)
Andrew Weir, Brand Director at Pernod Ricard (Aberlour Casg Annamh)

Late Night Whistle Pig Rye Showcase at The Social Eatery and Bar 10:00 p.m. until late.

Steward of the Brand Ingrid Rodriguez will serve cocktails and samples of Whistle Pig Rye at The Social, with light bites and DJ for the late night crowd. Tickets are $25 and include specialty cocktail, whiskey samples and commemorative Tervis custom tumbler (tumblers are limited to first 40 guests due to inventory constraints).

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Dalmore Single Malt Scotch Masterclass at The Bijou, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Join Benjamin BoiceBrand Ambassador at Whyte and Mackay, for a sumptuous lunch masterclass at featuring The Dalmore, single malt Highland Scotch, at Sarasota’s Bijou restaurant.  Tickets are $40 per person and include meal, single malt Scotch whiskies and commemorative Tervis custom tumbler.


Grand Tasting and Masterclasses @ The Hyatt Sarasota, 7:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

With hundreds of whiskies and cocktails available to sample, the Grand Tasting features dozens of the world’s premium global brands as well as emerging craft distillers from around the country. All tickets include Whiskey and Barrel Nite’s custom infused dinner buffet and hors d’oeuvres sponsored by Four Roses Bourbon, as well as a one year subscription to Whisky Advocate, the world’s leading whisky magazine. Limited booth space still available - see contact information at the bottom of the page.

  • 7:00 p.m. VIP Admission
  • 7:15 p.m. Class I begins (open to GA ticket holders; ends at 8:00 p.m.)
  • 8:00 p.m. General Admission; VIP Lounge Opens
  • 8:30 p.m. Class II and III begin (end at 9:15 p.m.
  • 10:15 p.m. Last Pour
  • 10:30 p.m. Event concludes


Masterclasses just added!

  1. 7:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Four Roses Single Barrel Deconstruction with Cile Moreno
  2. 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Amrut Indian Whisky with Ashok Chokalingam
  3. 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Glengoyne Single Malt Scotch with Gordon Dundas


Three ticket levels are available:

VIP $195:

  • VIP admission is limited to 200 guests and includes one commemorative Glencairn glass and one hour early entrance at 7:00 p.m.
  • VIP Lounge brought to you by Whiskey & Barrel Nite (8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
  • VIP pours of premium, fine, and rare spirits (details will be available on the event website).
  • At least 25 premium whiskies will be available during VIP hour.
  • One $50 retail voucher for purchases placed with our online retail partner, CaskCartel.com.
  • Bottles will not be sold directly at the show.
  • Greater opportunity to interact with distillery ambassadors and industry professionals.
  • Unlimited tasting of over 200 spirits.
  • Priority seating at classes and other WOF events during the Festival.


General Admission $95:

  • Limited to 500 guests includes one commemorative Glencairn glass; entrance at 8:00 p.m.
  • Unlimited tasting of several hundred whiskies and cocktails.


Companion $45:

  • Limited to 75 guests includes entrance with VIP or general admission ticket holders.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Women of Whiskey Brunch @ Sarasota Yacht Club, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

We are thrilled to present the Women of Whiskey Brunch in partnership with the Sarasota Whisky Society, Bourbon Women and the Black Bourbon Society. The event emcee Jennifer Wells and moderator Peggy Noe Stevens will lead a panel of prominent women making contributions to the whiskey industry, including:

  • Jenny Bartels, Brand Ambassador at Breckenridge Breckenridge Port Cask & High Proof Bourbon
  • Ingrid Rodriguez, Steward of the Brand at Whistle Pig Whistle Pig Old World and Piggyback Rye
  • Samara Rivers, Founder of the Black Bourbon Society Uncle Nearest 1856, Single Barrel Whiskey


Two whiskies from each panelist will be paired with a special menu created by SYC Executive Chef Anthony Puccio. Tickets are $45 per person and include meal, whiskies and commemorative Tervis custom tumbler. Open to the public; SYC membership not required.

Sips, Suds, and Smokes presents Beer, Bourbon, and Cigars @ Smokin’ Joes, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Join Bob Howell, Maury Jayson, and Mike Woods from Sips, Suds and Smokes radio show for a multi-faceted pairing of cigars and whiskey. This fun, casual event will be held at at Smokin’ Joes on Main Street. Cost is $25 and includes cigars, beer, and whiskey samples.

Whiskey Rocks Closing Night Party at JDub's Brewing Company, 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Whiskey Rocks continues its third year with live music by Ship of Fools with whiskey samples and cocktails, food trucks, and of course JDub’s craft beer. Tickets and information are available at whiskeyobsessionfestival.com.

For more information contact Turner C. Moore at 941.400.9889, Turner@WhiskeyObsessionFestival.com or Dave Sweet at 847-840-3914, DaveSweet@WhiskeyandBarrelNite.com.


The Hyatt Regency Sarasota is our exclusive hotel partner. Click here for discounted rooms. Or, for reservations by phone contact Hyatt at 877-803-7534.