Ah, you should have PM'd me....I could have met you and said hi! I popped into the Expo during the morning Trade Session for a quick walk around (I was helping to set up the stand for the SMWS), before attending the plenary session by Chuck Hahn next door. I then went into the Expo from 1.00pm until about 3.45pm, and then from 3.45 to 4.30 I was manning the SMWS stand.
I too noticed that the morning session had no spittoons. I believe the hotel stuffed up by putting ice in the buckets, and then putting the water bottles in. This was a real mistake, and the organisers noticed it near the end of the session. By the afternoon session, all of the water bottles had been taken out, and people were using them as spittoons, so it seems only the morning session missed out. However, I actually carried my own tumbler around and used it for a while also.
Spittooning is certainly not frowned upon in whisky circles. At least not half as much as we frown upon those that over-indulge and make a mess of themselves!! (Two guys were in a pretty bad state by 5.00pm!)
What did you think? Pretty impressive line up of whiskies, eh?
I took detailed notes and scored about 20 of the whiskies, and then I put away my pad and pen and just started enjoying a few others around the place. With 120 to choose from, you had to be pretty selective!
I was very impressed with the Old Malt Cask table, and also the Chieftans table.
The worst table was the Diageo one....they were only there to flog Johnnie Walker Green, but they had display bottles of the four main malts that go into it, including Caol Ila. My brother asked the bloke where he could get Caol Ila, and was told that Caol Ila is not imported to Australia. Meanwhile, two of Australia's major importers had it on their lists just a few tables away!!