Awards & Events

Boom time

A huge palm tree,immaculate croquet lawns,magnificent setting and impressive whiskies… we review Whisky Live London.
By Rob Allanson
The world’s premier whisky tasting show, Whisky Live visited London for the ninth time recently and sales boomed – in fact the Saturday sold out completely.Held for the first time in the sumptuous setting of the Hurlingham Club, visitors were eager to learn about the secrets of the water of life at the only whisky show of its kind in the capital and to experience the fantastic new features at the show.The Whisky Live stage was bursting with excitement as the top international barmen from Salt Bar showed off their skills and made stunning cocktails,while the traditional skills of the cooper were put on display with the sounds of hammering resounding off the walls.Elsewhere in the show, the recently named ‘Distiller of the Year’ (BenRiach Distillery) and ‘Brand Innovator of the Year’ (Glenmorangie) in the Global Icons of Whisky awards,were proudly showing off their wares and, visitors got the chance to explore the delights of the Far East with Suntory and Nikka both displaying their whiskies.In the masterclass rooms, visitors got the chance to take a more in depth look at the world of the dram hosted by an array of some of the most knowledgeable people in the whisky producing world.Kicking off the sessions was Diageo’s Colin Dunn taking visitors to the wonderful Isle of Skye and an in depth look at look at Talisker.Then taking to the floor was Whisky Magazine’s own Dave Broom as he unraveled the mysteries of what ‘sherried whisky’ actually means.Following that Glenmorangie’s sensory whisky creator Annabel Meikle led an exploration of the rich influence of the company’s unique designer barrels to the finesse of rare sherry casks,with a sneak peek at the latest release the Glenmorangie Sonnalta. The distinctive characters of the expressions will be complimented with sweet treats.Starting Saturday’s sessions Ardbeg’s evangelist Davinia Small introduced drinkers to the news and gossip of island life and the joys of peat.Then it was a case of from Islay to Ireland,where fans of Irish whiskey could join Noel Sweeney from Cooley Distillery, Ireland’s only Independent whiskey distillery, as he took them on a journey through Cooley’s Award winning range of Irish whiskeys.Next up was Diageo’s Colin Dunn with the latest batch of Special Releases from Diageo, which included a 26 Years Old Linkwood that spent the last fourteen years of its life in a Port Cask.To round off the event was a trip to the Far East to discover the delights of Yamazaki, Shinjiro Torii, the founder of Suntory and the father of Japanese whisky, and the country’s first malt distillery.To top the sell out occasion, bottles from the late Michael Jackson’s collection were auctioned off to mark the event of Whisky Live, raising more than £4000 for the Parkinson’s Disease charity.Plans are already in place for next year’s event so keep your diaries clear.COMMENTS
Various comments from show goers included:
“We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.The location was great,the
exhibitors worked very hard,the atmosphere terrific...what more
could one ask? The whisky/whiskey exhibited tremendous
variety,and I was able to add many a new dram to my ‘library’,
simply wonderful.Great entertainment,great company,keep up
the good work and please add us to next years mailing....we will
be there.”
Simon Lurie,via email“Me and my mate Dave had a great night and sampled at least 10
different whiskies.We also got interviewed for Japanese TV when
visiting the Japanese whisky stand.Great venue,great event,
thanks very much.”
Graeme Miles,via email“We had a wonderful time!”
Jo Fletcher-Cross,via email