Saturday 12th November saw me taking an early morning flight to Birmingham for the Whisky Lounge’s first whisky festival there.
I was hoping to see some of the distilleries there that hadn’t attended in York, and I wasn’t disappointed.
As I had travelled so early in order to be there on time, I found myself with a couple of hours to spare so holed up in Starbucks with a vat of coffee and a sausage bun.
The Council House was the venue for the show. What a magnificent building, from intricate architecture to wonderful heavy wooden doors that were opened to a waiting me…first up the stairs and eagerly anticipating what I would find.
Not long after I arrived I met the friendly face of Dave Worthington. Although I was to spend my day with likeminded people, it is nice to see those you know. It can be a tad daunting turning up to such events alone.
Soon after I arrived, people started to arrive steadily. At one point both sides of the staircase were full of people queuing eager to get in.
So twelve o’clock was upon us, and yes I was first through the door, Glencairn, pipette and guide in hand I bought some tokens and another lanyard (the chap next to me suggested the price should be free). Lol.
What was the first dram to be?
Well I headed in and found Murray McDavid, where to my dismay I realised they hadn’t got the whisky that rendered me speechless (probably a good thing) but instead I had a rather delicious 36 year old Bunnahabhain which was distilled in 1978 – what a delightful dram, a warm rich colour and a wonderful woody nose, and a lovely finish of rich fruits and dark chocolate.
I have to add here that my place to go and enjoy my samples was tucked in behind a huge marble column, just enough to savour the delights held in my hand. This was also a place where I enjoyed conversations about the festival too, learning why people had gone, their favourite drams, and perhaps what they were interested in exploring too. One chap liked Penderyn but hadn’t realised they were there so I pointed out where he should go, politely of course.
I spent the rest of the day visiting various stands, I particularly enjoyed the Weymss and also the Aberlour a’Bunadh and the 16.
I bought a gorgeous single dram silver cup from whisky tumblers.com which will be christened one day soon.
I was delighted to get a black token Jura 21 for nothing more than a smile… To have had conversations and the odd hug from random people, which made me feel good. The whisky community is a friendly bunch and no matter where you are you’ll always find someone to talk to. Hell it might even be me….