CHICAGO — WhiskyFest, presented by Whisky Advocate, is returning to Chicago on May 13 at the Hyatt Regency.

The event, which also takes place in San Francisco and New York, offers guests the opportunity to sample whiskies from around the world.

Tasters of all levels of expertise are invited to learn firsthand from the experts.

There will be educational seminars, taste testing, and much more.

WGN News Now spoke with David Fleming, executive editor of Whisky Advocate, about what to expect from the event and how to prepare for it.

“I do think people should prepare,” said Fleming. “Look at the pours, look at the seminars, and sort of try to develop your own strategy. There are different categories: Scotch, Irish, Japanese, bourbon, rye, Tennessee, etc.”

Fleming gave an example of sticking to bourbons and taste from youngest to oldest. He also gave a similar example of a plan with scotches but warns to be careful since they tend to be smokier and those are recommended to try at the end.

Fleming adds you also can’t go wrong with simply sampling a little bit of everything to get a sense of what the whisky world is all about.  

“You pay one ticket, and you go around to all the tables, the pours are a quarter once,” said Fleming. “And if you don’t like it, pour it out, go to the next booth.”

Where: Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E Wacker Dr, Chicago 

When: Friday, May 13th  

  • VIP Entrance: 5:30 PM  
  • Grand Tasting:  6:30 PM – 9:30 PM 
  • Seminars: 7:00 PM and 7:45 PM  

Ticket information can be found here.