San Francisco Whiskyfest

Tastings and tutorials, served straight up

PREVIEW There's a reason rich people are so productive: they don't get hangovers. And it's not the unlimited access they have to Tylenol PM–Ambien cocktails that keeps them good the morning after. No, it's the unlimited access to rare and expensive whiskeys. Rich people tell me they can drink near a liquid ton of the handcrafted stuff and still wake up with a fresh-enough head to whip their servants. Yes, it's true. The best hangover cure is to settle down with a pricey bottle of whiskey the night before.

For the past several months, under the cover of night and in back alleys, the wheels have been set in motion to bring an occasion of drinking such expensive whiskey to the masses. For the not-too-cheap price of $105, attendees of the San Francisco Whiskyfest can enjoy samples of 200 of the world's finest, rarest, and most expensive single-malt and blended whiskies. Yes, this is supposedly America's largest whiskey celebration, but there will be high-end rums, tequilas, and beer on hand for the more adventurous. That's not to mention the expansive buffet and Fiji Water for tasters to clear their palettes. Of course, such an evening would go to waste if there were no knowledge to be gleaned. Besides conducting priceless and slurred give-and-takes with the whiskey vendors, festgoers can attend straight-up presentations from people like Fred Noe, the great-grandson of Jim Beam.

SAN FRANCISCO WHISKYFEST Tues/23, 6:30–10 p.m., $105. Hyatt Regency San Francisco, 5 Embarcadero Center, SF. (415) 788-1234,

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