Bourbon fans will have a rare opportunity to meet — and eat! — with Buffalo Trace master distiller Harlen Wheatley, who arrives on Oahu next week for a series of public events.
Born and raised in Kentucky, Wheatley holds degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering and joined Buffalo Trace in 1995. He worked his way up the ladder from distillery supervisor to distillery manager in 2000 and master distiller in 2005.
He is the sixth individual to hold the position at Buffalo Trace since the Civil War; the distillery is now owned by New Orleans-based Sazerac Co.
Along with Buffalo Trace’s namesake bourbon, Wheatley also oversees production of more than a dozen types of bourbon, rye whiskey and vodka, including Blanton’s, Elmer T. Lee, George T. Stagg and Sazerac.
His company’s distillate is also used to produce Pappy Van Winkle, one of the most hyped and hardest-to-find bourbons in the United States.
Wheatley will make appearances at three Oahu retail locations, where he will sign bottles for customers and pour samples of Buffalo Trace, E.H. Taylor Small Batch, Eagle Rare Single Barrel and Sazerac Rye.
In addition to the in-store appearances, Wheatley will be the guest of honor at two dinners with extremely limited seating.
|APPEARANCES BY HARLEN WHEATLEY
>> 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday: Foodland Farms Aina Haina, Aina Haina Shopping Center
>> Noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 11: Don Quijote Kaheka, 801 Kaheka St.
>> 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 12: Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors, 1216 10th Ave.
HARLEN WHEATLEY DINNERS
>> 12th Ave Grill (5 p.m. Dec. 11, 1145 12th Ave.): Whiskey tastings and a four-course dinner for 24 diners. Tickets are $85; reserve a seat at 732-9469.
>> Pint + Jigger (5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 13, 1936 S. King. St.): Fujioka’s Wine Times hosts a whiskey dinner, the only public event to feature samples of George T. Stagg Jr. and W.L. Weller Reserve. Call 739-9463 for prices and information on the night’s menu; seating is limited to 30.