Good evening whisky lovers!!
I feel I need to add my thoughts to this ongoing debate.
I have to agree whole heartedly with susyong on this matter! I have experienced both sides of the counter as I have attended many festivals as an exhibitor and as a whisky enthusiast and am continually frustrated by the number of people who see these events a means to a free bar! and as much as I can see the opinions of the true whisky enthusiasts, such as all of you, I have to say that until you have appreciated the hassle and the genuine lack of interest as to: 'where the whisky is from''what background it has, 'what finish it is in' (a debate for another day before you all start!!
) you honestly cannot comment on the views that susywong and fachan have placed so far! An example of these are this year at WL I watched a guy steal a bottle of W&M from their stand and proceed to pour half pint drams for himself and his friends and the year before I poured a guy who I had refused a dram to, a glass of water and he had no idea to what he was drinking!! By no means am I trying to say that everyone who attends festivals is there for the proverbial 'free meal' as the majority of people genuinely want to appreciate the whiskies on offer!!
one more quick point, some of you were reacting to the fact that you were being 'priced' out of enjoying the rarer and older whiskies........ these suppliers or producers too only have a limited stock of such fantastic whisky!! Say an independant bottler does 35 shows in a calender year and takes 4 bottle of xxxxxxxx 29y/o, of which they have 300 bottles, to each show among other things. That equalls 140 bottles of free stock given away which would leave 160 bottles for general release! seriously, but the basis for all these distileries and bottlers is business and companies cannot afford to just give away their best stock. So the fairest way is to create a tier system so that those who genuinely want to appreciate the finer whiskies can do so!