I was in Frankfort last Friday for Elmer T. Lee's birthday. Elmer being 90 years old, his official party ended at about 7:30 PM.
At that point, the journalist cohort was delivered safely back to the hotel. The official festivities were over, but we know how to entertain ourselves. We reconvened shortly thereafter on the hotel's patio. No other hotel guests were using the patio. The weather was ideal.
It was me, Jim Murray, John Hansell, Lew Bryson, Stuart MacLean Ramsay, and Laura Congiusti.
Someone (I won't say who) had scored an extra bottle of the Elmer's 90th Birthday Limited Edition. We also had a few beers, some Ancient Age 90, and Buffalo Trace.
But those weren't our first drinks of the day. The bar had opened shortly after we arrived at the distillery for the party, at about 5 PM, but those weren't our first drinks of the day either. We had had a tasting that started at, I don't remember, maybe 2:30 PM, of the five 2009 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and two 2009 Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection releases.
It should be noted that I did not get behind the wheel of a car from the time I got there Thursday evening until I left Saturday morning. Pity the poor PR people, who can't drink because they have to cart us around.
As the night went on, Laura's Wisconsin accent got thicker and thicker and Murray's stories got more and more maudlin. Hansell bailed first (early flight), I was second (no excuse). It was about 11:30 PM. I had been drinking whiskey more-or-less steadily for about nine hours.
I remember everything.
The day ended with a group of friends who don't see each other often enough, who sat down at a table with some alcohol to enjoy it and each other, none of us more than an elevator ride from where we'd be sleeping.
That's how professionals do it.