I want to share with you my great experience of visiting the whisky live event in London.
My decision to attend this event was taken long ago, so I luckily got full day tickets for the 26th of Feb, the tickets include 8 whisky samples, sandwich for lunch and a shiny Glencairn glass with the WhiskyLive logo.
In fact i am in London at least twice a year, i have relatives that live up north-west of London in Edgeware. The event took place at the Hurlingham club near Putney Bridge tube station, so my journey started at 10 AM from Edgeware station, heading south towards bank/monument and from there using the district line west towards Wimbledon, but i was unlucky due to construction work at the circle line the line were fully closed and people used the district line instead, on top of that they have district line train only in 15 min intervals, and this is not enough – on that day Chelsea played at Wimbledon so the trains was very tight with people until Fulham Broadway station. But despite that i was happy and highly excited, whisky live is waiting for me.
From Putney bridge i had about 1 mile walking, two fellows i mat outside which also went to the event showed me the way. They were nice fellows, Jewish people from Mill Hill – Jews are everywhere (I am a Jew so i am allowed to make fun of this – Like Tim Watley).
I arrived at the event finally, with a smile on my face and willingness to taste everything. Got my Glencairn glass and my samples vouchers and started with the sipping ceremony.
It is hard to get full exact tasting notes in such event, since we drink a lot and we are not focused. but the atmosphere is great and i was able to get the impression of what i need and want to but afterwards.
The first booth i saw was the “compass box”, I have a Canadian friend who keeps telling me that i must try the Peat monster by Compass box, so that was my first dram, I am a bad student of Ralfy, starting with peat (Ralfy claims that peat should be last because it is very hard to sample lighter whiskies after a peaty one), but it was stronger than me, i wanted to have that dram. So the guy from Compass box who knows me and my blog poured me double glass of the peat monster. It was really great with long finish of peat.
From that i went to wash my mouth with some fresh water, need to remove this peat.
The place was not so big, maybe around 20-30 booths, people were very happy. Some of them are wearing a Kilt, i was very excited about that, i thought this was an urban legend, but people actually wear the kilt for special events. This fellow is one of the exhibitor of Spring bank booth.
Ii stopped at the Springbank booth, tried the Longrow 14, which i bought one day ago at the whisky exchange store near London bridge, we had nice conversation with the people of Springbank, with the whisky they served some Scottish Oatcakes which are fun.
Suddenly i heard someone say that Richard Paterson (The_Nose and the master blender of white and McKay) is giving his show, so i left the gentlemen from Springbank and joined Richard’s show. This guy is amazing, the people loved him. He started his show with a map of Scotland, and make sure that all the crowed use to be in Scotland, so i said i did not, i am from Israel, Richard were screaming at me “Get your ass to Scotland immediately”, the entire people were laughing, and applauded me.
Then he took in his hand 30 years old W&M bottle, and we performed a taste together with him, in his own way, means you must hold the whisky in your mouth a second for every year, in this case 30 seconds, so we did it together with him, and afterwards he gave us some dark chocolate for the finish. It was just great to see this man face to face and to have such great old whisky. While Richard pour me the whisky he said to everyone “this is an alcoholic fellow from Israel”.
I also took a photo with Richard :-), he was standing on a chair with his W&M bottle. as you can see i am happy as well.
From there i went to the whisky shop, i placed an order of the highland park 10 59%, this is special edition to Whisky live event, I took my bottle and also said hi to Matt from the great blog Whisky for everyone, he works at the whisky shop. They brought nice whisky collection to the event, i wanted to buy the Ardbeg supernova which cost only 100 pounds, but due to customs i could not do it. i already bought few more bottles in this trip.
Then I decided to try one of the Japanese whiskies, so this time i went to Yocihi booth, they had few of them, i tried the one with the peat. Frankly, i don’t really like Japanese whiskies, but it was a great experience.
There were also few gimmicks, one of them was a bourbon which contains honey by “Evan Williams” and it is definitely not my cup of tea.
At that moment i was too happy from the alcohol so i decided to go for my lunch, so i took the sandwich which was the worst sandwich ever, but ate eat, i knew i must eat if i want to drink more. I was sitting next to totally strange people, but very nice people, real whisky lovers.
From that point i wandered randomly to booths and drank whatever they offered me, I had some of the glenmorangie quinta ruban, which is nice whisky finished in port wood cask. quit nice!
Then i went to some more booths, i must tell you that from that moment everything was very tasty too me.
I was highly disappointed that there were no Islay representation at the whisky live event, I am addicted to Islay whisky and i was expecting to see some of the distilleries over there. However i made my decision to visit Islay before the end of the year, and I will do so. I also hope that Gal will be able to join me this time.
That’s it, as you can see i had a great time, and as a whisky lover you must attend one of these events. It’s a wonderful experience.