Tag Archives: baldwin park

2nd Annual Whiskey Festival — Drink It In

whiskey crowdYou know that song “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall?” I couldn’t help but think perhaps it was penned for the wrong potion after attending the 2nd Annual Whiskey Festival, held April 16 at Audi South Orlando. Well over 100 whiskeys, scotch, and other potent potables were on “tap” for sipping enjoyment.

Serious whiskey drinkers snatched up the “Pappy Experience” tickets early on. These select few (only 25 tickets were sold) enjoyed a private tasting of the entire “Pappy Van Winkle” family (10 year, 12 year, 13 year rye, 15 year, 20 year and 23 year). For those NOT in the know (which before this event included me…), Pappy Van Winkle is a legendary brand. Even an empty bottle on Ebay goes for close to $200. (Say… Want the lineup? Click here with your eight THOUSAND to buy the collection.)

The Limited Release Experience offered five rare pours including 1. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon; 2. Jim Beam Distillers Masterpiece; 3. Michter’s 10 year Limited Release; 4. High West Yippee Ki-Yay (Debut release in Florida at 2016 Orlando Whiskey Festival); 5. Whistle Pig 15 year (Debut release in Florida at 2016 Orlando Whiskey Festival).


Glengoyne’s 10 year and 21 year have distinct colors based on age.

During the special release time, I enjoyed the rare treat of some exceptional pours including Glengoyne‘s 25 year. (Yes. I was drawn to the most expensive ones in their line. Shocker.) I learned that the Highlands distillery uses unpeated malt for this single malt scotch whisky, which is then aged in Sherry casks for 25 years. Smooth doesn’t even begin to describe the taste. The color (which is completely natural from the barrels, deepens the longer it matures.

WhistlePig brought their award-winning collection and I tried the 10 year, 100-proof, straight rye. At first the vanilla, honey and caramel notes lured me in, but the slightly smokey finish (that the more experienced palates found irresistible) was not my “cup of tea.” No wonder Whiskey Advocate called it a “very distinctive, and probably a polarizing whiskey.”

Speaking of “cup of tea,” I’m reminded of the saying “I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey, than everyone’s cup of tea.”

While not “the” most expensive, but certainly hard to order in local establishments, Hibiki Suntory Whisky was one of my favorite pours. Meaning “resonance” in Japanese, Hibiki was a pleasant surprise even though it’s not from Scotland or Ireland… or even Kentucky. By the way, there’s no “e” in whisky, when spelled in the European way, in case anyone’s proofing as they read. Hibiki was created with food pairings in mind, which is why it is so effortless to sip.

whiskey serverI was not expecting to run into rum at the event, but there it was in all its amber beauty. Grander Rum, a Panamanian creation, is aged at least 8 years in ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky. A fine sipping rum, Grander contains no additives and is perfectly suited for drinking “straight up” (though I’d be the last person to advise you against using quality in your rum-based cocktails.

Foods at the Orlando Whiskey Festival included a heavenly fried catfish taco from The Coop/4Rivers. Why this crispy, tasty little handheld bundle of deliciousness is not on the menu is beyond me (catering offering only, for now). Suffice it to say I’ll be chatting up John Rivers next chance I get and asking if he’ll add it. (Maybe I should bring a bottle of one of these fine whiskeys as a way to… influence him….) “THE” Whiskey, the Gourmet Burger Joint and bar on Sand Lake Road, served Asian Beef Tartare (seen below on the same night, different location, and benefiting another great cause!). I had two. Shhhh.

#CBBWildWest We’ve heard @WhiskeyOrlando has the best burger in town. How about their Asian Beef Tartare?

A photo posted by Central Florida Top 5 (@centralfltop5) on

Provisions and Buzz Co. served a moist and tender pork roast with a chutney-type apples while, outside Audi South Orlando, Hard Rock Orlando shared mini burgers and their outstanding mac and cheese (which won in both the Restaurant and People’s Choice categories at Give Kids The World’s OTown MacDown in 2014!).

There was also a cigar lounge with cigars from Swisher Sweets, craft beers including The Hourglass Brewery based in Longwood, rum tastings, live music, and more.

Suffice it to say there were still at least 85 bottles of… everything… on the wall when I left at a measly 8:30pm (and closing was at 10). Lightweights like me had to throw in the towel early. Next year I’m hoping to be more prepared. So I guess I have a few months to train.

Special thanks to Provisions Buzz & Co. for inviting Central Florida Top 5 to enjoy this tasty evening! Thanks, too, for your generosity to our community. All net proceeds from The Orlando Whiskey Festival benefited The Lovely Project Foundation.

The Lovely Project is a non profit organization, headquartered in Orlando, FL that exists to empower girls and women by infusing them with the knowledge of their value, voice and valor. You can visit them at TheLovelyProject.org or clicking the logo below.

The Lovely Project is a Non-Profit Organization, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, that exists to empower girls by providing them with tools, education and peer-mentorship for living a purposeful, productive life.

Community Based Care of Central Florida 5k Stroller Derby

Babies, start your engines!

On Nov. 1, Community Based Care of Central Florida (CBCCFL) — the nonprofit organization that oversees foster care and adoption in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties — will host its first 5k/Stroller Derby event at Harbor Park in Baldwin Park.

Moms and dads with their families are invited to participate in the event that will feature a 5k stroller walk, games and activities including a cutest baby outfit and best decorated stroller contest. You can use any sort of stroller, and there’s no limit to amount of tots – so pack your best double stroller and come on down.

Nancy Alvarez, an anchor for WFTV Channel 9, will serve as honorary chair for the event. All proceeds directly support the children and families of Community Based Care of Central Florida.

WHEN: Saturday, November 1, 2014
Registration: 8 a.m.
Event: 8:30-12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Harbor Park at Baldwin Park
4990 New Broad Street
Orlando, FL 32814

COST: $25 per family in advance
$30 per family day of event

TO REGISTER: Visit www.cbccfl.org


Debbie Leon, Development Director, Community Based Care Of Central Florida
(321) 441-2322

Baldwin Park Readies For More Apartments, Town Homes (With Construction Pics)

By Ken Storey

While much of the focus has been on new developments in downtown recently (on that front I’m hearing rumors of at least two more apartment ‘towers’ to be announced by Spring ’14) other parts of Orlando are slowly but surely increasing density of their areas.

Over in Baldwin Park construction is wrapping up on Post Lake.  Near the Village Center Jefferson Apartment Groups’ Azul is taking shape and David Weekly is closing out another block of city homes.

The David Weekly block features a single 3-story Firenze model with 4 townhomes with composite door Bristol doors, right now but the rest of the block looks to be getting prepped for more. Oshawa Windows provide you with the highest quality window and door installations for your Barrie property.

The big construction project is the new luxury apartments Azul Baldwin Park.  This Jefferson Apartment Group project is the second that the locally based Winter Park Construction has been selected to do for the full-service real estate firm.

The 178-unit, wood frame Azul clocks in at just under $16 million ($15.7m).  Filling 4 acres of previously empty plots near the Village Center Azul adds new density to the planned community with its 4 and 5-story building butting up against the small two lane streets.  Just across the street is Blue Jacket Park

The entire boutique complex project is seeking LEED certification.  Azul will feature an on-site day spa, covered parking, and a pool complex with hotel-style cabanas.  The luxury apartments make look familiar, they were designed by Looney Ricks Kiss Architects, the same design firm behind many of Celebration’s multi-family buildings.  They also designed for the Paramount on Lake Eola and Baldwin Park’s Village Center.

Both projects should be finished by first quarter 2014.


You can see the first of David Weekly’s new City Home townhome buildings going in, prep work for more in the foreground.



And now onto Azul…


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For renderings of the finished apartments and floorplans check out AzulBaldwinPark.com