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Edinburgh Whisky Festival (a new slant)

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Edinburgh Whisky Festival (a new slant)

Postby Admiral » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:48 pm

The organisers of this are bringing the show to Sydney, and I've been asked to help spread the word to the Australian whisky-enthusiasts' community.

However, the only flyer and promotion that's available is this:

http://www.sbandwf.com.

and having read all the comments on the previous thread here about the Edinburgh event, I am a little reluctant to recommend the event.

I was particularly alarmed to read your experience that many of the "hosts" at the stalls didn't know anything about whisky and were simply pouring out drams and reading off fact-sheets.

The last thread got a little bit hijacked about discussions on rugby, finishing, and Murray McDavid. I wonder if we could keep this thread on topic and if those who actually went to the Edinburgh event could give some comments about whether or not they felt the event was aimed at (or at least, catered for) the serious whisky enthusiast, or whether it was just aimed at and catered for the punters.

Cheers,
ADmiral
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Postby Leither » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:43 am

I thought it was very poorly organised, promoted, run and attended. Furthermore, the food and entertainment offered were also of a poor standard - partly thawed quiche is not nice and the ceilidh band on stage outnumbered the event attendees at some points in the evening.

The people at most of the stalls that I went to did not have a clue about the whiskies and more than one were embarassed to say they were just reading from an info sheet. I was particularly disappointed in Bruichladdich/Murray McDavid who did not seem to have time to talk to me and I was left to pour my own after waiting for about 15 mins.

The above views are also shared with who I attended the event with - two Irish friends, both new to whisky.

The positive from the event was the chance to taste more unusual international whiskies from Japan, Ireland and Sweden, which was a good experience.

The masterclasses that were advertised prior to the event and I paid extra for were withdrawn (altho I did get a refund).

All in all it was a non-event really.

Unfortunately I'm probably, and perhaps unfairly, comparing this to the exellent event that I attended last August called Whisky Fringe, run by Royal Mile Whiskies.

Anyway, I hope you find my thoughts of some use.
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Postby toshie » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:52 am

I'm with Leither, except on the Bruichladdich comment.I spent a fair bit of time there sampling different drams and had a real old natter with Lynne McEwan. Of the other exhibitors, only Glenrothes, Jura, and Suntory had their own people there. The rest were reading from crib sheets. The food was poor, the piper and ceilidh trio just far too loud for such an enclosed space.To be generous, it WAS the first event and subsequent years may be better.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:56 pm

In reply to the question, this had been organized by people who knew nothing about whisky as a commercial venture. Even the basics were wrong - we were given straight tumblers to drink from! Most stalls were manned by people who were reading cards - and the (very pleasant) girl on one of the blend stalls offered the cards to us to read to save her own breath. Even Australians deserve better than this.

Perhaps.
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Postby Admiral » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:58 am

Even Australians deserve better than this.

Perhaps.


You'll keep! :D :twisted: (I trust this has nothing to do with the recent cricket match between our two fine nations?)

I have elected not to throw my support behind this. This is based on two things:

(a) The responses & opinions of the three posts above (thanks guys, appreciate your thoughts tremendously), and

(b) The fact that I emailed the organiser who first contacted me in order to obtain some more info and details for the event, (I asked some pretty specific questions) and he's not responded. I noted in the first thread on this that several people tried contacting the Edinburgh organisers and also did not get responses.

Cheers,
ADmiral
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Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:29 pm

Admiral wrote:I have elected not to throw my support behind this. This is based on two things:

(a) The responses & opinions of the three posts above (thanks guys, appreciate your thoughts tremendously), and

(b) The fact that I emailed the organiser who first contacted me in order to obtain some more info and details for the event, (I asked some pretty specific questions) and he's not responded. I noted in the first thread on this that several people tried contacting the Edinburgh organisers and also did not get responses.

Cheers,
ADmiral


The event was poorly organised, it has to be said. Suntory, Glenrothes, Highlad Park, Jura and Bruichladdich did have knowledgable people there but everyone else was just a student who had been roped in.

It was also annoying trying to get information about the event.

Of the music, the ceildih band and the bagpiper were annoying but the harp player was excellent - especially if you are a tubular bells fan.

That said, it was cheap and I particularly enjoyed the suntory and MMcD/Laddie whiskies and MMcD were generous with their measures.

It was a good night out and, if it's not too far away and not too expensive, I recommend you go as there were plenty of good whiskies available.
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Postby Admiral » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:57 pm

Actually, to be fair, since posting my last contribution above, the organiser did respond to my email and addressed some of my questions, at least in terms of "which distilleries will be represented".

The line up looks like being mostly American whiskies (Jack Daniels, & several premium bourbons), and international whiskies (Australian, Irish, Swedish, Welsh). So far, there seems to be a very big gap in that major category of Single Malt Scotch! :wink:

I might go along - ticket price is $31 (about 13 pounds), but I'm still a little reluctant to get behind it and help publicise it.

Cheers,
ADmiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:08 pm

Admiral,
although I wasn't at the Edinburgh one, after reading all the forum comments I think your decision to stand back a little is a wise one.
Perhaps if you did attend as a paying guest this year you could form your own opinion from experience, maybe even talk directly to the event organisers during the event and perhaps then take a decision for next year.
MT
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