Awards & Events

Maturing nicely

The world's premier whisky event rolled into the English capital for the 8th time,bring with it some of the best whisky in the world.
By Rob Allanson
The current resurgence in whisky was reflected in London recently, when the capital staged one of Britain’s biggest ever whisky tasting event.More than 2,000 people passed through the doors at Whisky Live at London Victoria’s Horticultural Halls to experience everything the whisky world had to offer.The attendance figure marked an increase for the event, which is now in its eighth year.Whisky Live has always attracted a large number of whisky connoisseurs,many from across Europe, but the Friday evening ticket encouraged the merely curious to attend the show for the first time.A series of specialist seminars had been organised over both days to help visitors understand the many facets of whisky from across the world.Kicking off the masterclasses on Friday was Diageo looking at the science of smoke.Then Whisky Magazine writer Martine Nouet took attendees on a trip round the still including Cognac,Calvados and rum.The final two classes of the day were taken by Whisky Magazine’s Distiller of the Year Inver House.Devotees got the chance to taste the full range this award winning distiller has on offer.Starting the Saturday sessions of indepth seminars was Glenmorangie’s Dr Bill Lumsden, who took people through the new sensual world of Glenmorangie’s whiskies.Meanwhile Whisky Magazine Editor Rob Allanson stood in for Dave Broom and took drinkers on a journey to the Far East and the joys of Japanese whisky.Ardbeg took to the masterclass stage in the afternoon with brand ambassador Hamish Torrie and Dr Bill leading people down the interesting path to maturity.Diageo was then back for the penultimate class,displaying its Special Release range for this year.Rounding off the classes Inver House was back, this time ensuring drinkers did not anCnoc it until they had tried it.More than 35 companies from around the world, including Sweden, India, Japan and America as well as Scotland,were represented at the show.Several independent bottlers, including Gordon & MacPhail.Douglas Laing and Duncan Taylor, were on hand to offer drinkers something different from their favourite distillers.The companies had some impressive and rare whiskies on show as well.The LA Bartenders wowed the crowds with their gravity defying bottle spinning displays,mixing some of the finest whisky cocktails available in the capital that weekend.The cocktail bar reflected the current interest among fashionconscious barmen to work with whisky and bourbon.Taking to the main stage each day,Whyte and Mackay’s master blender Richard Paterson put unsuspecting members of the crowd through their paces to create their own blend to meet his exacting standards.Also Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge and Richard went head to head in the great malt debate, discussing the virtues of bourbon and Scotch, and answering questions from the assembled throng.Food stalls, music and debate also contributed to the overall show experience.So get ready for next year!