My report is that it was a goodish show, but not great. Not a patch on the early days, but sadly with the increase in the number of whisky events throughout the calendar, and ever increased costs of exhibiting, it's inevitable.
Highlights from the show for me were the people. Having an animated conversation with Willie Tait (Jura) about the hogwash that is talked about chill filtering and what Bruichladdich did with his fine spirit.
I found a Glenfiddich which I didn't hate (mostly because it didn't taste of Glenfiddich), and got to taste their new make spirit which tastes of the pear drops which I hate so much. Thanks to Ian Murray.
I learnt from Gerry (Tosh?) of Highland Park what went wrong with their Amassador's Cask #2, and why the Whisky Live 10th cask would be SO much better. However I couldn't taste it on their stand as they were only allowed to exhibit 1 bottle, and so had to tast it on the WL stand with someone who knew nothing about whisky! GREAT!
As others have said the Glenmo/Ardbeg whisky / food pairings were poor, and disappeared part way through the show. Shame!
I discovered Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon and liked it alot. Lots of bourbon sweetness BUT with a dolop of rye bite. Spoke with a charming girl from Standstead travel retail and tried to convince her to look at stocking it.
It was also great meeting up with familiar faces, too many to name, but thanks for the craic and whisky.
Whilst the exhibitors were few, the day disappeared in a blink, and last pours were called too soon. Except for the first 20 minutes I never felt "now what", and there were a couple of stands I forgot to visit.
Les -> I bumped in to a brother of your friend (I think that's the right way round) who was trying to blag a 13YO Glenlivet off Ian without a silver card! He mentioned that you and friend may not have used your Friday tickets!
Apart from the chap having a lie down on the steps who needed the ambulance, and a few random idiots I thought it was pretty good natured.
Good to see the vouchers working as well as previous years