Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) kicked off 2020 hosting a celebration of all things whiskey in a daylong event on Jan. 17. (Courtesy Photo)

CLARKSBURG – Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) kicked off 2020 strong as it hosted a celebration of all things whiskey, Jan. 17, from 10 am – 7 pm at Clarksburg Village Liquor.

The Whiskey Rocks celebration is the largest event of its kind in Montgomery County. The daylong event attracted hundreds of whiskey lovers who want to purchase limited release and hard to find whiskey products.

“This event is so much fun and brings the whiskey community together to talk, taste and buy bottles to add to their collections,” said ABS director Bob Dorfman. “There are a lot of people who come back every event, and there are more and more people who are whiskey-curious that join in. It grows every year.”

On one of the coldest nights of the winter season, with the windshield temperatures in the 10s, more than 100 people camped outside the store the night before the event and one person even spent a full day.

“I’ve been collecting and drinking whiskey for over 10 years, and this is a great community of meeting people and doing this with them,” Chris from Woodbridge, Virginia said. “It’s a great community of bourbon drinkers and whiskey collectors, and that’s something I’m really passionate about.”

The whiskey celebration will feature tastings, engravings, raffle drawings, barrel picks, bottle signings, special releases and an exclusive whiskey lunch with Maker’s Mark Master Distiller Denny Potter.

Some of the first-come, first-serve offerings included: Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, O.F.C. 1994 by Buffalo Trace, Weller Full Proof, Weller 12 Year, Orphan Barrel Rhetoric Library Pack, Old Fitzgerald 15 Year Bottled-In-Bond and Orphan Barrel Foragers Keep.

In addition to first come, first serve item availability, there was different waves of timed releases, including favorites such as Parker’s Heritage Collection 13th Edition, Yellowstone Limited Edition 2019 Bourbon Angels Envy Cask Strength, Balvenie 30 Year, Glenfiddich 30 Year, 1792 Full Proof, 1792 Bottled-In-Bond, Elijah Craig 18 Year, Little Book Chapter 03, Baker’s Single Barrel 13 Year, Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series RC6, Four Roses Limited Edition 2019, High West Midwinter Nights Dram, Weller Antique and Michter’s 10 Year.

Each customer was limited to one bottle per item.

During the promotion last year, Whiskey Rocks set a record for one-day sales of sought-after whiskeys in a month. Montgomery County sold $116,000 of top-shelf whiskeys on June 14 at the Burtonsville retail store.

The agency holds the events to attract customers to taste and purchase hard-to-find whiskeys.

All profits the Department of Liquor Control brings in go to the Montgomery County General Fund to support police and fire, transportation projects and other public services. County Executive Marc Elrich said he was impressed to see the amount of people looking to buy their whiskey.

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