The whiskey will flow through the Rushmore Hotel on Saturday with the first Mountain West Whiskey Festival.

The event, organized by Homeslice Media Group and Boyd's Wine and Spirits, will see over 40 different whiskeys available for sampling, according to event coordinator Andy Young.

"There's plenty of beer and wine festivals around, and it seems like whiskey has been neglected a little bit," Young said. "Homeslice wanted to throw a type of event that hadn't been done before."

Young added that Homeslice wanted to expand the number of events held in slower seasons and turn them into regular attractions.

The drinks will be primarily American whiskeys and bourbons, with a handful of Irish whiskeys and scotches. Drinks available for general admission include Wild Turkey Rye, Jack Daniel's Single Barrel (regular, Cask Strength and Rye), Old Forester 1870, 1897 and 1920, and more.

There will also be nine premium whiskeys available to VIP ticket holders, including Stagg Jr., Kentucky Spirit, Jack Sinatra, Woodford Master, I.W. Harper 15-year bourbon, High Rye, Jefferson's Oceans Voyage 8, Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition, and Lock Stock & Barrel Rye. 

"These are some top shelf whiskeys," Young said. "They're some cool varieties that people might not want to get in multiple rounds on most nights because of how expensive it is, but this gives you the opportunity to try some really high-end stuff."

There will be 13 different tables set up for the whiskeys, each featuring a different brand or type (a Jack Daniel's table, for example), with one premium at most stations. There will also be a whiskey connoisseur at each table.

"They'll be there to tell you what unique flavors to look for, what you might be able to taste," Young said.

There will also be whiskey-inspired dishes, including a rosemary smoked rack of lamb with raspberry port reduction, pecan smoked pork shoulder with Jack Daniel's BBQ onions, and mesquite smoked beef tenderloin with Woodford mushroom demi. Desserts will include chocolate stout fudge brownies and fresh bourbon whipped cream.

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"We've also made a ticket available for people who aren't whiskey fanatics for people who might want to try the food and have access to a cash bar for other drinks," Young said.

Music will be provided by singer-songwriter Ric Todd, giving what Young calls a one-stop shop for a great night out.

"The whiskey lovers are gonna love the whiskey, everyone's going to love the food," Young said. "But the atmosphere with the drinks, the food, the incredible music and the beautiful room is going to be great."

Attendees must be 21 or older.

To purchase tickets, visit mountainwestwhiskeyfestival.com. Additionally, the Rushmore Hotel is offering a special $64 room rate on March 4 for guests attending the Mountain West Whiskey Festival. Use the group code "8622."

Contact Max B. O'Connell at 394-8427 or max.oconnell@rapidcityjournal.com

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