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2018 Buffalo Whiskey Riot

A couple of days ago I introduced myself to a new neighbor, Margaret Finan, who recently moved into a house on my street. In true Buffalo fashion, within seconds we were talking about an assortment of Buffalo commonalities. Eventually, my new neighbor told me that she was Executive Director of the Buffalo Whiskey Riot, formerly Buffalo Whiskey Fest.

Uh oh. While I no longer party like I once did, I could feel my liver do a double take the moment that I heard that my immediate neighbor runs whiskey festivals. Being a trooper, I told her that I needed to learn more about this auspicious, boozy festival.

Margaret told me that last year’s inaugural event, held at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, sold out before she even realized what was happening. Apparently a lot of people are fans of whiskey and festivals. Put the two together, and it’s the perfect storm. The Buffalo festival was such a hit, in fact, that the organizers have now taken it the same recipe for success on the road to Rochester and Albany. Plus, the Buffalo festival is moving into a much larger location on Saturday, September 29, 2018 – it’s going to take place at The Adam’s Mark Hotel.

The 2018 festival is three times larger than the inaugural festival held this past winter.

“We like to emphasize that the festival is an incredible educational experience for anyone from a seasoned whiskey lover to someone just dipping their toes in—not only do we have master seminars from two of the best brands in the space and the distillers behind the tasting tables to talk you through each of your samples—but the festival itself is an incredible way for someone to try different whiskeys without buying 15 different bottles or making a big expensive bottle purchase/investment before knowing they really like the whiskey.”

The original Buffalo Whiskey Fest was orchestrated in tandem with the release of Tommyrotter’s new product launch of Triple Barrel American Whiskey.

“The inaugural Buffalo Whiskey Fest was a huge hit – whiskey vendors noted how great of a market WNY is for them, and how ready the attendees were to dive into new experiences – it was noticeable that attendees were there to learn and really broaden their palate, rather than just gunning for the older and more expensive brands. There are a lot of people in the restaurant scene who can speak on the resurgence of whiskey in Buffalo, like Lucky Day/Ballyhoo owner Tim Stevens, Marble & Rye owners Mike Dimmer and Christian Willmott, Dapper Goose owner Keith Raimondi, Bobby Finan and Sean Insalaco of Tommyrotter Distillery, local distillers Black Button Distilling, and more. Buffalo has a lot of passionate spirit aficionados and makes it the perfect market for the Whiskey Riot Festival event and our vendors!”

Buffalo Whiskey Riot Festival

The Buffalo Whiskey Riot Festival, hosted by Tommyrotter Distillery and Step Out Buffalo

Saturday, September 29, 2018

  • Afternoon Session: 1-4 pm
  • Evening Session: 6-9 pm

The Adam’s Mark Hotel | 120 Church Street | Buffalo, NY 14202

General admission $45

Included with ticket:

  • Take-home tasting glass by Powers Irish Whiskey for sampling throughout the event
  • Access to samplings of over 90 types of whiskeys from around the world
  • Hour-long master whiskey seminars to educate attendees on the nuances of whiskey and its variations by Heaven Hill Distillery and The Macallan, makers of the finest American and Scotch whiskies
  • Heaven Hill: Seminar and tastings on American whiskies
  • The Macallan: Seminar and tastings on single malt Scotch whisky
  • A drink ticket to each of the Whiskey Riot cocktail pop-up bars by Tommyrotter Distillery, Highland Park Whisky, and Four Roses Bourbon

Must be 21+ to attend

Tickets only available online/not for sale at door. Available for purchase at:


Upstate NY Fall Festival Series: Rochester Whiskey Riot Festival will be on Sept. 15 (1200 attendees over one session), Buffalo on Sept. 29 (3600 attendees across two festival sessions), and Albany on Oct. 28 (1200 attendees over one session)

Lead image courtesy Whiskey Riot Festival

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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