Awards & Events

Whisky live Paris 2008

A full sensory experience
By Rob Allanson
Angels must have been celebrating in Paris on that lovely Indian summer week-end at the end of September.The Pavillon Gabriel – wasn’t Archangel Gabriel the most famous in the white-winged congregation? – owned and run by award winning caterer Potel et Chabot is a rather glamourous address. It faces the Palais de l’Elysée. On that third week-end of September, a lot of public buildings are opened to visitors for the Journées du patrimoine. So was the presidential residence.More than one exhibitor must have felt a little puzzled when seeing hundreds of people queue in front of Whisky Live venue. In fact they were going just a bit further, probably hoping to shake hands with president Sarkozy.But another crowd attended the salon. Less spectacular but quite as numerous along the three days.Nearly 4,000 whisky aficionados poured out into Whisky Live Paris in a continuous flow.The setting of the event was quite impressive: 70 exhibitors, among them 42 distilleries displaying about 400 whiskies.Too many whiskies and definitely not enough time.Especially with this year theme which promised the visitors l’expérience totale, the full experience.The idea with such an ambitious program was to put the stress on the solid as well as the liquid.Hence the choice of the venue.Potel et Chabot provided a stunning display of dishes and canapés which were matched with the whiskies.A prestigious Macallan dinner around the Fine and Oak range started the event on the Friday night, hosted by brand ambassador David Cox. Silver service,dressed up diners, refined decoration and the excellent cuisine provided the most entertaining time.Kate Targett-Adams, talented harpist and singer added the Scottish magic touch.The matching of The Macallan 15 Years Old and an oyster poached in a creamy soja risotto was a daring but palatable combination.An Irish lunch was another of the hits, revealing a wonderful match of Tyrconnell 10 Years Old Madeira finish with an exotic fruitbased dessert.The Classic Malt and Food stand offered not less than 4,500 canapés – the pairing included cheeses, shellfish and some wonderful whiskies – to the many eager visitors.The cocktail stands never seemed to get a break: 1,500 whisky cocktails were served in three days.The young and creative barmen worked with Jack Daniel’s,Maker’s Mark, Nikka Whisky and Monkey Shoulder using 100 raspberry packs, 60 litres of cranberry juice et 100 litres of apple juice.The visitors were also eager to try the new releases.Their tasting note pads rapidly filled in with notes on Glenmorangie Astar, Ardbeg Blasda,Aberlour 14 Years old,Yamazaki 1990 and so many others.A great whisky celebration.