By JOHN McBRYDE
By hosting the event at the end of March instead of early in the month, organizers of the fifth annual Whiskey Warmer at Westhaven are hoping the weather will be a bit more cooperative.
“We’ve been having it at the beginning of March and we’ve fought the weather every year,” said Mary Lee Bennett, marketing manager at Westhaven. “The first year we chipped the ice out of the parking lot and the second year we had monsoon rains. We moved it to the end of March in hopes that we have good weather.”
Specifically, Whiskey Warmer will be held from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the Westhaven Residents Club. Tickets for the event and a complete list of participating vendors can be found at http://www.whiskeywarmer.com/franklin.
A portion of all ticket sales will benefit the Westhaven Foundation, which provides grants and scholarships, and acts as a catalyst for raising funds for local charities and organizations serving Franklin and surrounding communities. Admission tickets include 15 whiskey samples. The event is 21 and over and will take place outdoors, so attendees are encouraged to dress warmly just in case.
“Westhaven is always looking to have new and unique events for both the residents and other people in the community,” Bennett said. “I ran into the company that produces the Whiskey Warmer and thought that would be a great way to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.”
This year’s Whiskey Warmer will feature professionals from more than 40 brands discussing their respective spirits in a relaxed environment that serves as a celebratory sendoff to winter. Whiskey lovers and connoisseurs will certainly recognize international brands such as Crown Royal, Jim Beam and Bushmills, among others. But attendees can also enjoy sampling and learning more about local and smaller brands such as Leiper’s Fork Distillery, Corsair Distillery and Belle Meade Bourbon.
“We really try to support the local distilleries and have them be part of the mix,” Bennett said. “We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had quite a few goods around here to draw from.”
While attendees can enjoy sampling up to 15 different brands, the Whiskey Warmer is also an ideal way to learn more about the many varieties of spirits represented.
“We limit tickets to 800 people, because we want to keep the event kind of intimate and keep the lines short at each of the tasting tables and allow people to move about freely,” Bennett said. “All the distillers that come are always very pleased with the opportunity to speak with the people who attend and talk about their products.
“It’s not just a place to come and drink. It’s a place to come and have an educated conversation about the different flavors and ways things are distilled and how they get into the bottle.
“[The event] also raises funds for an important charitable organization that has given more than $1 million back to the local community since its formation,” Bennett added.
Nashville podcasters Dads Drinking Bourbon will be broadcasting live from the event and the evening’s musical entertainment will be provided by Jeremy Holt and his band.