A night with Johnnie Walker

As part of my job and this blog, I subscribe to a number of emails focused on events, trends and deals. One of these email groups is Thrillist and since Chicago is the closest city to us, I receive the Chicago-focused emails as well as their national emails. A few weeks ago I  was skimming through my email and the write up on a night at the Walker House intrigued me. I called Bryan to see if he’d be up for a night in Chicago and tasting some whisky and he said of course. In fact, his post on Facebook said “This should be fun.”

We arrived at the venue about 45 minutes early – the email confirmation suggested arriving 30 minutes early and we weren’t the first to arrive. We didn’t stand in line too long before they opened up so we could start the check-in process. As someone who works on brand experience events – from inception to activation – it was interesting to be part of an experience such as last night. As Bryan said, he could see my PR wheels spinning.

Check-in included filling out a survey on one of several iPads, nice touch, and then you were rewarded with a hand stamp and a golden coin – good for one drink inside. The tent quickly filled with other attendees and we were ushered in to a dark lit room with a bar serving one of three House of Walker Walker cocktails (see image), crudités, cheese and crackers, passed hors d’oeuvres with a step and repeat photo backdrop and educational brand messaging around the room. Despite what some who had attended the event earlier had tweeted (that they were smothered with marketing messages), I thought the room was quite tasteful with just enough information to keep it interesting without overwhelming attendees. Throughout the experience, we felt like we were part of an exclusive group, even though we were with around 170 people.

Following cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, we walked in to a different room where we were introduced to the Johnnie Walker brand ambassador, Steve, and our tasting event. To start we were shown The Man Who Walked Around the World video.

Each label was introduced with a video, a lighting change and different images shown on screen to reflect the flavors and feeling each label is supposed to evoke, for example images of smoke.

In order, we tasted:

  1. Black Label
  2. Double Black Label
  3. Red Label
  4. Gold Label
  5. Blue Label

Each had a different flavor and mouth feel and it was interesting to taste the differences in them served neat, on the rocks, with water and mixed with something else. All in all, it was a great night and I encourage anyone who wants to try whisky for the first time or for fellow whisky fans to try to catch a night at the House of Walker. 

Images from the event can be found here: http://on.fb.me/o1QNaq.

While we did attend the tasting event for free, we were not compensated for writing a post about our experience and the opinions are my own.

Related posts:

  1. A night at Bellisio’s…
  2. Not just any port in a storm

About the Author

PR gal and foodie. Half of HouseoFoodies and half of Spruce Phoenix, a real estate investment company.