Whiskey for the people – that’s the motto Joe Montanez and Ryan Westeren of The Whisk(e)y Fix have adopted. Together, they host quarterly tasting events in Springfield, Missouri, and run an informative Instagram account (@thewhiskeyfix).
With Montanez’s experience as a bartender at Good Spirits & Co. (which owns Scotch & Soda, The Golden Girl Rum Club and more) and Westeren’s years of research – talking to local bartenders and reading industry books and blogs – the two are a wealth of knowledge: Did you know the drink is spelled “whisky” when it hails from Scotland? Along with memorable tidbits such as this, you'll leave a tasting at The Whisk(e)y Fix with a warm buzz, or as Westeren calls it, “a Kentucky hug,” and the tools to identify and expand on the flavors found in whiskey.
The smoked cinnamon and maple syrup add an incredible depth to this drink.
Why did you start The Whisk(e)y Fix? Starting [The Whisk(e)y Fix] was something Ryan and I had been talking about for a while. In January 2019, I made a career change, moving to the food and beverage industry, and all of a sudden I had more time to start investing in the idea. That's when we got serious and decided on the Instagram account – it really just grew from there. –Joe Montanez It was an outlet that both of us wanted. A good amount of people had already been asking us about whiskey; we want to give them information to walk away with, but instill curiosity in them at the same time. [The Whisk(e)y Fix] is also about eliminating the intimidation and pretentiousness surrounding whiskey and inspiring people to try new things. –Ryan Westeren
What can people learn from attending a tasting event? We want to combat misinformation with education, so that’s kind of how our events are laid out. We select a group of whiskeys that we want to walk people through. In the process, we educate them on things like what grains go into a specific bourbon, how long it was aged in the barrel and how much char the barrel had in it before the unaged whiskey was added. –J.M.
Can you describe the heart behind The Whisk(e)y Fix? Joe and I are both naturally community-driven. If I was going to give a reason why, it would be because I enjoy the bars of Springfield so much. I would drink here over anywhere else in the country; the selection and prices are unbeatable and you can try so much. –R.W. You can buy an expensive bottle of whiskey, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is going to be good, and you can have a really cheap bottle of whiskey and that doesn’t mean it is going to be bad. Whatever you're drinking, if you share it with someone, you're going to remember the time spent with that person more than what the whiskey tasted like. That’s our passion. –J.M.
The Whiskey Fix, facebook.com/thewhiskeyfix