Events

Winter Whiskey Tasting

Warm up your winter by exploring a world of whiskey where wood provides the distinctive flavors.

Content Detail

On Friday, February 23, sample a selection of whiskies curated by a team of experts from Binny’s Beverage Depot while you warm up at a cozy fire pit on the lighted patio of the Firefly Pavilion, a covered, open-air event space.

From the velvety smoothness of aged bourbons to the peaty allure of single malts, every pour is an invitation to explore the nuanced flavors of fine whiskey. While sampling spirits, guests will enjoy tunes and ballads from Irish traditional musicians Mike Austin and Jim Conway of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

Event Details

The Winter Whiskey Tasting event takes place in the Firefly Pavilion on the Arboretum’s East Side. Parking and paved walking paths will be available near the event location. These paths are accessible to wheelchairs and walkers. This event is for adults 21 years and older.

Benches and patio furniture are available at the fire pits. Seating is not available inside the pavilion.

For an additional $30, enhance your tasting experience with an add-on charcuterie box, curated to perfectly pair small bites with the whiskeys featured at the event. To receive the charcuterie box at the event, orders must be placed online before Wednesday, February 14.

Please note that the order deadline for charcuterie boxes has passed. Charcuterie boxes will not be available for purchase on the day of the event.

Ticket Details

Timed-tickets must be purchased in advance. VIP and general admission tickets are limited for each time slot.

General admission includes 15 quarter-ounce tastings, a souvenir 5-ounce tasting glass, and concessions available to purchase in the Firefly Pavilion during the event.

VIP tickets include complimentary snacks and small plates, access to a heated seating area in the Curatorial and Operations Center, live music entertainment, and one full pour of a whiskey of your choice.

Nondrinking and designated driver guests are required to reserve a designated driver ticket, which includes admission to the event, a free cookie and soda, and complimentary nonalcoholic spirits and cocktails from Spiritless.

General Admission
Member: $50
Guest: $60
Designated driver: $30

VIP (Sold out)
Member: $85
Guest: $95
Designated driver: $55

Your ticket purchase helps support the Arboretum’s vision of a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world where people and trees thrive together.

Food Options

General admission ticket holders can purchase concessions in the Firefly Pavilion during the event. VIP ticket holders will receive complementary small plates in a heated VIP area in the Curatorial and Operations Center.

Please note that the order deadline for charcuterie boxes has passed. Charcuterie boxes will not be available for purchase on the day of the event.

Concessions Menu

Small Plates
Chili
Macaroni and cheese (VG)
Barbecue whiskey pulled pork sliders

Snacks
Large soft pretzels (VG)
Bagged chips (VG)
Cookies

Beverages
Hot chocolate
Hot cider
Boxed Water
Soda

Item Key
VG–Vegetarian

VIP tickets include include complimentary small plates of chili, barbecue whiskey pulled pork sliders, vegetarian mac and cheese, and pretzel bites with assorted dipping sauces; food is available until 8:30 p.m.

For an additional $30, enhance your tasting experience by adding on a charcuterie box at purchase. These boxes serve one to two people and have been curated to perfectly pair small bites with the whiskeys featured at the event. Each box will contain meat. You must pre-order your box online by Wednesday, February 14. Charcuterie boxes will not be available for purchase on the day of the event.

VIP Tickets

Please note: VIP tickets are sold out.

VIP ticket holders will enjoy the following benefits during the event:

  • Access to a heated VIP area in the Curatorial and Operations Center
  • Live musical entertainment from classical guitarist Jim Perona until 8:30 p.m.
  • Complimentary small plates until 8:30 p.m.
  • One full pour of your whiskey of choice

Food offerings for VIP ticket holders include chili, barbecue whiskey pulled pork sliders, mac and cheese, and pretzel bites with assorted dipping sauces.

Nonalcoholic options are available with the purchase of a designated driver VIP ticket. In addition, designated driver VIP ticket holders may take home one Spiritless Whiskey Sour pour over cocktail can.

Whiskey List

Angel’s Envy Bourbons
Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey Finished in Caribbean Rum Casks

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co.
Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon
Blaum Bros. Straight Rye Whiskey

Mississippi River Distilling Company
Cody Road Bourbon Whiskey
Cody Road Rye Whiskey
Cody Road Maple
Cody Road Honey
Cody Road Barrel Old Fashioned

Compass Box Whisky
Compass Box Artist Blend, Blended Scotch Whisky
Compass Box Glasgow Blend, Blended Scotch Whisky
The Story of the Spaniard, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
The Spice Tree, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Dewar’s
Dewar’s Double Double 21 Year Old Mizunara Oak Cask Finish

The GlenAllachie Distillery
The GlenAllachie 12 Year Speyside Single Malt
The GlenAllachie 10 Year Chinquapin Oak Finish
The GlenAllachie 8 Year Scottish Oak Finish
The GlenAllachie 7 Year Hungarian Oak Finish
The GlenAllachie 2010 12 Year Oloroso Puncheon Cast

FEW Spirits
FEW Straight Bourbon Whiskey
FEW Straight Rye Whiskey
FEW Cold Cut Bourbon
FEW American Straight Whiskey

Starlight Distillery
Starlight Distillery Blackberry Whiskey
Starlight Distillery Carl T. Bourbon Whiskey
Starlight Distillery Old Rickhouse Rye Whiskey
Starlight Distillery Small Batch Double Oaked Bourbon Whiskey

KOVAL Distillery
KOVAL Amburana-Finished Rye

Lochlea Distillery
Lochlea Our Barley
Lochlea Sowing Edition
Lochlea Harvest Edition
Lochlea Fallow Edition
Lochlea Ploughing Edition

Nulu Whiskey Co.
Nulu Reserve
Nulu Toasted Small Batch Bourbon
Nulu French Oak Bourbon

RD One
RD1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
RD1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished with French Oak
RD1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished with Brazilian Amburana Wood
RD1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Double Finished in Oak and Maple Barrels

Teeling Irish Whiskey
Teeling Single Pot Still
Teeling Wonders of Wood #2 Portuguese Oak
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey

Whiskey Acres Distilling Co.
Whiskey Acres Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon
Whiskey Acres Bottled-in-Bond Rye
Whiskey Acres Nocino Walnut Liqueur
Whiskey Acres Bourbon Finished in Nocino Casks

Widow Jane
Widow Jane 10 Year Bourbon
Widow Jane Apple Wood Rye
Widow Jane Lucky Thirteen Bourbon

 

Vendors are subject to change.

Order Spirits

Attendees can order their favorite spirits by requesting an order form from a Binny’s Beverage Depot representative at the Winter Whiskey Tasting event.

Accessibility

Parking and paved walking paths will be available near the event location. These paths are accessible to wheelchairs and walkers. Heated, accessible restrooms are available in the Firefly Pavilion.

View the Accessibility Guide for more detailed information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Accordion List

  • The event takes place in a covered, open-air pavilion. Guests will be protected from the elements but should plan to dress for the temperature. Fire pits will be available on the patio. Restrooms are indoors and heated.

  • Yes, each participant will receive a souvenir whiskey glass.

  • This event will have live music from Irish traditional musicians Mike Austin and Jim Conway of the Old Town School of Folk Music in the Firefly Pavilion. The VIP area will feature live music by classical guitarist Jim Perona until 8:30 p.m.

  • Yes, food will be available for purchase in the Firefly Pavilion from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Charcuterie boxes will be available for pre-purchase and pickup at the event. VIP tickets include complimentary small plates.

  • Yes, general admission and VIP designated driver tickets are available. This ticket will include admission to the event, a free cookie and soda, and complementary nonalcoholic drinks from Spiritless. Designated driver ticket holders will not receive a souvenir glass.

  • No, there will be no additional samples available for purchase.

  • The Arboretum will close to visitors at sunset. After the event concludes, all visitors must exit the Arboretum.

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