On Thursday, August 27th, 2015, over twenty-five disrupters and investors met at WeWork Golden Gate in San Francisco to enjoy a special whiskey tasting from around the world. Hosted by Tuan Pham (Silicon Valley Bank) and Nan Li (Obvious Ventures), the event featured our founder Rose Jia, who walked through the basics of whiskey as well as the brand stories behind four different whiskeys: Yamazaki 12 (Japanese), Widow Jane Bourbon (American), Teeling Single Grain (Irish), and Bunnahabhain Céobanach (Scotch).
- 25+ startup founders and venture fund investors attended the private event
- 1 interactive tasting led by our founder Rose Jia
- 4 featured whiskeys:Yamazaki 12, Widow Jane Bourbon, Teeling Single Grain, and Bunnahabhain Céobanach
ON THE WHISKEYS PRESENTED:
If you had attended the event, you would have learned a bit about the origins of whiskey, the difference between whiskey and whisky, and more. Below are some sample brand stories for the 4 whiskeys presented:
Yamazaki is the first Japanese malt whisky distillery in Japan. It was founded in 1923 by Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory. The first whisky didn’t do well. “Torii understood that he couldn’t simply make Scotch; he needed to make Japanese whisky for Japanese people.” It took 60 years before the distillery released the future award-winning single malt Yamazaki 12 in 1984. Since then, Yamazaki whiskies have dominated the world stage. In 2015, Jim Murray crowned the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 as "World Whisky of the Year” in Whisky Bible 2015.
Widow Jane is a product of Cacao Prieto Distillery, which is located in Brooklyn, New York. It was founded by Daniel Preston, who was a genius (going to college at age 12). He eventually dropped out early and ended up building and selling businesses by his early twenties. In recent years, he wanted to develop a whiskey that took advantage of the sweet unique water from the nearby Widow Jane mine as well as 100% GMO-free corn. Thus, came Widow Jane Bourbon. This award-winning bourbon debuted in 2012 and has since then a fanatical following.
Teeling is the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years. It was founded in 2012 by two brothers (Jack and Stephen), who come from a long line of whiskey distillers. Back in the 19th century, Dublin whiskey was globally recognized as the premier whiskey in the world. Then Irish whiskey fell on hard times and the last distillery closed in 1976. Jack and Stephen wanted to bring back their heritage. Hence, they built Teeling. Released in 2013, Teeling's Single Grain Whiskey has been matured full term in Californian Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels.
Bunnahabhain (pronounced ‘bu-na-ha-venn’) was founded in 1881. It is the only Islay distillery that produces un-peated whiskies. However, almost 20 years ago, Master Distiller Ian MacMillan had a dream to bring back the origins of the distillery, back to the 1800s when the whole community depended on peat for warmth and the peat smoke permeated everything. Peat was part of the distillation process until 1960s when new owners decided to ship in malted barley from the mainland. Now, only 700 cases of this unique peaty taste are released per year.