Awards & Events

A Capital Event

Whisky Live London attracted a new audience this year. Rob Allanson reports
By Rob Allanson
Whisky Live London moved to a larger venue this year and attracted more people than ever before.With more than 2,000 people passing through the doors, it has become the biggest show of its type held in the country.Following the Icons of Whisky awards, the show opened its doors in the Horticultural Halls in Victoria once more, but after selling out in the two previous years the event was moved to a bigger hall.Both the Friday and Saturday attendances exceeded expectations, reflecting the current general interest in whisky from across the world. And the truly international flavour of the event was reflected in the fact that among the exhibitors were representatives of whisky from Sweden, India, Japan, America and Wales as well as from Scotland.There was also an eclectic mix of visitors to the show, too, with a high proportion from across Europe and from as far away as Australia and Canada.One visitor who caused a stir and set hearts racing after he dropped in on Saturday was Ben Fogle.The television presenter had recently completed his epic row across the Atlantic Ocean with Olympic medalist James Cracknell – and two bottles of whisky.As well as the usual mix of tasting stalls and specialist seminars there were ‘interactive’ areas where visitors were able to watch demonstrations of barrel making or try their hands at indoor golf.One addition to the show, which worked well for those whisky loving city types who have to work during the day, was the new ‘evening only’ ticket which allowed people to attend for the final three hours of Friday evening.More than 400 people took advantage.More than 35 exhibitors took part in the show, many of them unveiling whiskies that had never been tried before. Among them was a special 40 year old whisky from William Grant & Sons. It had been distilled and put in to casks in 1966.