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Whiskey Fest 101: How to appreciate Step Out's event

With more than 75 different whiskeys to taste, and dozens of other attractions, there is a lot to take in at Step Out Buffalo's Whiskey Fest, Jan. 28 at Hotel @ the Lafayette.

Between the highballs and trips to the merchandise booth, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Be smart: It can be easy to lose yourself in the golden grandeur of gallons of flowing whiskey. But moderation is key to getting the most of your experience. Enjoy the smoke and oak of some of the world’s finest distilleries.

When you’re finished tasting, enjoy a rideshare, or take a taxi. Try Designated Drivers of Western New York, or a sensible friend.

Listen and learn: Throughout the day, experts will be presenting on various interesting topics.

Ranging from the evolving tastes, to regional flavors and resurgent styles, the seminars available at Buffalo Whiskey Fest will offer insight into many facets of the industry.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em: Alongside the growing interest in whiskey is an equally developing curiosity of the drink’s best companions - cigars.

“I’ve noticed that simple whiskeys pair well with simple cigars, and complex whiskeys with complex cigars,” said John Rainelli, manager of Neat. Buffalo Cigars will be onsite to suggest pairings with some of the festival’s best offerings.

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