Stay at a Disney HotelOctober 2022
Celebrate Seasonal Flavors!October 2022
by Matt Dye
Like a good bourbon, Nathaniel Allured and Adam Fontenot’s friendship began in middle school and has slowly aged over time into an impactful force. Together the two have created Smoke & Barrel (S&B), which will host its 4th annual event on November 19 in downtown Lake Charles on the Courthouse lawn.
Solidified as an idea while grilling out on the river in 2018, Allured and Fontenot just wanted to take that experience of sipping good whiskey and eating quality BBQ and expand it, creating what is now Louisiana’s prime whiskey tasting event.
While the party itself is a lot of fun, Allured and Fontenot took it a step further when they partnered with United Way SWLA to help give back to the community. As Allured says, “Smoke & Barrel’s mission statement is to provide quality entertainment for the enrichment of the community while raising funds for worthy charities.”
Their main focus is to help tackle childhood literacy, as both gentlemen want Smoke & Barrel’s fundraising to go toward children in less privileged positions. With fundraising in mind, leading up to the event, several bars and restaurants around town will participate in a cocktail contest. If you see an offer for a special S&B cocktail and a barrel on the bar, be sure to donate your vote to the cause. “The day of the event at noon, there’s a cocktail competition, which is cool,” Fontenot says. “Last year we had the head national brand ambassador for Pernod Ricard as one of the three judges.”
The night before the event, an Oceans & Oysters cocktail dinner will be held at the Pioneer Club, featuring Jefferson’s Bourbon, which is aged at sea on a shark scientist ship. “We’ve also got two barrels of Jefferson’s Ocean for Smoke & Barrel to sell to the public,” Allured adds. “It’ll have a logo of ours on the bottle, hand-selected for Smoke & Barrel.”
Smoke & Barrel itself will feature over 90 different whiskeys with venders from all corners of the planet and the aforementioned ocean. And it’s not only bourbon, so if your spouse or friends only drink wine or beer or none of the above, they’ve still got you covered.
Along with the whiskey, Smoke & Barrel will host upwards of 12 of the best pitmasters in the region, all with medals and plaques hanging on their walls. You’ll more than likely leave S&B full and with a few places to visit in the future. For those with their own BBQ skills, Smoke & Barrel will hold two different amateur contests, one featuring St. Louis style ribs and another that’s freestyle BBQ. The entry fee is $100.
Smoke & Barrel will also feature the music of Ole Lonesome, Mayeux & Broussard, and Holly Rock, encouraging a little boot scooting across the dance floor as the day goes on.
And the future for Smoke & Barrel? Currently, they also host an annual Rum Revival, and they’re planning additional cocktail dinners. They’re also looking to create a Women in Whiskey type event.
But when asked about expansion, Allured and Fontenot make it clear they want to do it through partnerships within the community, which they value above all. Tickets for both the Oceans & Oysters cocktail dinner and the 4th Annual Smoke & Barrel event are available at www.smokeandbarrel.org . Supplies are limited!