The Passover Seder includes a song called Dayenu [pronounced die AY nu]. Dayenu is both a word and a sentence. It translates to “It would have been enough for us.” The song travels through a litany of short verses that each chronicle one event in the story of the exodus of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. After each verse there is a chorus of “Dayenu,” emphasizing that even that event alone would have been enough to make our ancestors happy. Nevertheless, in every case G-D went on to assist the Hebrews in many additional ways even after securing their redemption from slavery. Although shortened, this is the basic gist of the song Dayenu:
Had the Lord delivered us from slavery in Egypt and not parted the Red Sea; Dayenu.
Had the Lord parted the Red Sea so we could pass through in safety and
not swallowed up the Egyptian soldiers; Dayenu.
Had the Lord vanquished the Egyptian soldiers and not provided manna
to eat in the desert; Dayenu.
Had the Lord provided manna to eat and not given the Torah to the
Children of Israel; Dayenu.
Etc. (You get the idea.)
It is hard to describe how well our big debut weekend went in New York City at the end of October. As you will recall, we were scheduled to pour our own whiskies for the first time at WhiskyFest NYC. Because WhiskyFest was held on Shabbat and many observant Jewish whisky enthusiasts could not attend, we scrambled to put together an alternate Whisky Week event for those folks who could not attend WhiskyFest. Thus was born our Whisky Jewbilee event, which took place on the Thursday night before WhiskyFest. Between these two events, we had our work cut out for us. It was sink or swim. And we swam like Michael Phelps!
In the joyous trope of the song Dayenu, here is a brief report on our “debut weekend.”
Had we planned the Whisky Jewbilee in four weeks and had it not succeeded; Dayenu.
Had the Whisky Jewbilee been an unqualified success with tremendous
participation and had it not also been a success with the presenters; Dayenu.
Had we met great success with both participants and presenters and not
received accolades for our whiskies; Dayenu.
Had we received overwhelming response to our whiskies and not signed
new members of Single Cask Nation; Dayenu.
Had we signed new members and not continued our success at WhiskyFest; Dayenu.
Had we merely poured our whiskies at WhiskyFest and not received rave
reviews for our table and our whiskies; Dayenu.
Had our table and our whiskies received rave reviews and our BenRiach 17
not been identified commonly as THE darling of WhiskyFest NYC 2012; Dayenu.
Had our presence and our whiskies generated buzz throughout the venue
among the patrons and not also wowed all the industry folks; Dayenu.
Had our whiskies wowed the industry leaders in attendance and not also
garnered critical acclaim; Dayenu.
Had we garnered critical acclaim and not also cemented previous, and
forged new, relationships in the industry; Dayenu.
Had we forged important new industry relationships and not also signed
new members of Single Cask Nation; Dayenu.
Had we done all this and not received coverage in many local, regional
and national publications; Dayenu.
It is with great humility and a grateful sense of pride that we look back on an incredible Whisky Week in New York City. Fortune smiles on the prepared, and we were nothing if not prepared. We fully anticipated that our whiskies would garner positive reviews. But we received many comments from the industry’s most respected noses and palates, distillers, importers and distributors to the effect that our products were of superior, stand-out quality. Our table at both Whisky Jewbilee and WhiskyFest was absolutely mobbed. Friends, fans, members and industry folks all relayed observations to us about how people were talking about our table all the way across the venue, telling other folks that they “Just HAVE to try Single Cask Nation’s [this or that, but usually referring to the BenRiach 17].”
It was also quite encouraging to feel so at home among – and welcomed by – the industry folks. Everyone was eager to hear about Jewish Whisky Company and Single Cask Nation, if they hadn’t already. Our whiskies turned some new heads; although the industry folks who already had dealings with us were not surprised at all to find our whiskies to be so well selected.
In all, just three days in October formed the potential to catapult Single Cask Nation to great heights. Merely participating in WhiskyFest would have been enough. Dayenu. Yet we accomplished much more than that. And there’s much more where that came from.
Thanks for joining us on this incredible journey.
L’Chaim and Slainte!