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Whisky Live London 2005

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Whisky Live London 2005

Postby Matt2 » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:24 pm

Whisky Live London is the UK’s whisky tasting event of the year and is visiting the capital city for the fifth time! Held in the prestigious Royal Horticultural Halls, the seasoned whisky-lover or novice can expect to experience an incredible and in-depth insight into the world of whisky drinking and producing. This is your chance to become even closer to the industry, taste rare and sought-after whiskies for the first time, increase your knowledge and meet the whisky experts often featured in the pages of Whisky Magazine.

- Click here for more information
- Book your entry tickets
Last edited by Matt2 on Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hendriks » Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:38 am

Looking forward to it . For me aswell the fifth time.

Sorry to see that you also introduced the voucher system like the dutch festival.
You gone up in price with the entry tickets and now we even have to pay more for some of the whiskies.
It's getting almost unpayable to enjoy whisky events with all the travelling ,high entrance fees,extra for masterclasses and even extra for vouchers.
I hope the quality is getting better for that kind of money.

Dennis Hendriks
Holland
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Postby lexkraai » Sat Nov 20, 2004 11:24 am

Matt, I'm also worried about the introduction of vouchers. Can you explain exactly how it will work? Do you have to pay a voucher for every whisky you taste? Do more exclusive whiskies cost more vouchers? Can you buy additional vouchers on the day and, if so, how much do extra vouchers cost?

I'd like to know these things before deciding whether or not to come to the London event. I've visited every time so far, but if the costs of attending rise by a double-whammy (i.e., higher entrance fee plus having to pay extra for actually tasting whisky), I may decide to give it a miss.


Cheers, Lex
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Postby Matt2 » Sat Nov 20, 2004 6:06 pm

There is a slight ticket price increase but you do not need to pay for samples. You will get a booklet with 12 vouchers, each voucher will get you one free sample, if you run out of vouchers then its probably about time you stopped. :wink:
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Postby Hendriks » Sun Nov 21, 2004 8:52 am

does this mean that even the older and rare whiskies will also be just one voucher or will these more expensive ones be more than one.
I don't agree with you by telling me that if i used my voucher i probably had enough. I samole my whiskies and just drink a drop and not even 1 cl , this way i can sample a great deal of whisky and geta taste of it. Remember there are a lot of tradespeople there that are trying to look for new stuff.
You make it just more commercial like this and i'm not getting the feeling i'm welcommed but more seen as drunks.

Dennis Hendriks
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 21, 2004 10:55 pm

The way I look against it, is that the festival organizers learn from eachother. When we started to introduce the vouchers in Holland(2002), we got a lot of resistance from the visitors. Now the system is well known and the majority of the visitors don't seem to badger at all. They are still paying some extra for a older or exclusive dram and a voucher in Holland will costs you €1. Now in my eyes it seems a reasonable price to pay for a voucher. The thing is that some distributors, merchants etc ask about 5 vouchers for an older or exclusive dram. But the other side is that a lot asked more then 10 vouchers up to sometimes 15 vouchers. You might ask where you draw the line.

Another thing is that we can't expect from the distributors, merchants, etc to sponsor all the older or exclusive stock. We just simply can't and I don't think it's justified to expect that all the suppliers will give it all for free. There's to much money involved in that, I know that there budgets but believe me that these budgets won't stretch that far. And some producers/distributors can afford more then others.

Now if you pay 28 GBP entrance fee including 12 vouchers sounds very reasonable to me and 28 GBP is roughly about the same entrance as in the Holland. Now if you visited the event in Holland, there's lots to taste for free(included in the entrance fee). But if you pay 28 GBP for the entrance fee, including 12 vouchers and that's it, then I would say that's pretty expensive. I mean does a very exclusive dram will cost you one voucher :?: Or does it - like Dennis said earlyer on - cost you more then one voucher :?: By the way, what will the price be for extra vouchers, 1 Pound :?: I think that even 1 GBP or perhaps more is just a very little bit on the dearly side, just a tiny bit. Because right now I can see the prices in front of me for the amount of vouchers they'll ask you: "One Bowmore 25Y old sir, oh uh yes please but what's the price? Well sir that's 5 vouchers please for a smashing 20 ml (or 25 maybe)" Conclusion, perhaps 5 GBP or maybe more(depending on the price for a voucher) for a 25Y old Bowmore. I believe in Holland you'll probably pay €4 or 5 for a 25Y old on average(that's 2 to 2.5 GBP)

I think there should made some price agreement with the producers/distributers about what to charge for some older or exclusive whisky's. Again, they dont have to do this for free but lets keep it reasonable. And yes I know that everything has its price.

To be honest I never attended the Whisky Live event, but I did follow the enthusiastic stories from others who did went to London. And they told me how things went overthere and what to expect and what the prices where etc. So in a way I had a little taste of it. I personally would love to go to Whisky Live once, especially when people, like Dennis for example, tell you enthusiastic stories about this event. But then again I found out that staying in London is quite expensive, about 80 quid a night I believe in some hotels. The flight in the otherhand is very very cheap(Thanks to Easy Jet, Ryanair and others).

Who knows on one day.....


Cheers,

Erik
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:51 am

Matt,

This makes a lot of sense and cleared a lot of things up too.

It's sad to hear that whisky is still abused by others and that if this will go on the event has to shutdown forever. We had the same situation in Holland the first couple of times, to be honest I still see some visitors abusing the whisky. But lucky for the organisation in Holland, that amount of visitors who abuse the whisky is getting less now.

But there's a point here, by paying a certain amount of entrance fee and get all the whisky for free. That will atract some misbehaving people with the intention to get value for money so to speak.

It's still difficult too find the right balance that will satisfy both of the exhibitors and visitors. But by asking a small fee I learned from experience you'll get the true whisky connoisseur at your stand(and you're willing to do some extra for them).

These events are all about enjoyment and promotion for the whisky industry.


Cheers,

Erik
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Postby Matt2 » Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:20 pm

Sorry guys, had to remove that last post. Our new events manager Rebecca will be making another post today with the exact terms and conditions for these vouchers.... :oops:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:24 pm

That's allright Matt I'll wait for that, well there goes my reply aswell.

Erik
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Postby Hendriks » Wed Nov 24, 2004 8:34 am

Well i'll wait for the exact details aswell.
I'm just afraid that it will get to commercial as in the UK the companies provide the whisky , and in holland the distributors have to provide the whisky which is more expensive.

I find the festival to be a promotion to the industry, and promotion costs money.
A high entrance fee, as has been for years at all of the events i attend all over the world ,will keep out the ones that are looking for a cheap drink. But it's turning the otherway around and i see that the organisers think to make some easy money dispite all the affords of all the whisky industry that sponsor a lot.

I understand we're all in the industry to make some money but this is promo to keep the industry alive and healthy.


Dennis
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NO PROBLEMS!!!!

Postby angus » Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:01 am

Hendriks wrote:
Sorry to see that you also introduced the voucher system like the dutch festival.
You gone up in price with the entry tickets and now we even have to pay more for some of the whiskies.

____________________________________________--
I visited Whisky Live in Glasgow. There it was also vouchers.
I´ll tell you- The vouchers were NOT a problem (if you understand what i mean....) :wink: :wink: :wink:

Hopefully WHISKY LIVE in London will have the same voucher system as in Glasgow.. :wink:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:23 am

If it is the same vouchersystem that I have heard of angus, then it should be OK :)

Cheers,

Erik
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Postby lexkraai » Thu Nov 25, 2004 9:19 am

Matt, Rebecca, anyone at WM HQ, wouldn't it be good to clear up the confusion once and for all and post the official terms and conditions of the voucher system?

Cheers, Lex
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Vouchers at Whisky Live London

Postby Rebecca Laurance » Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:09 pm

Dear All,

My name is Rebecca and I am the new event manager for Whisky Live so hello to all of you!

A number of you have expressed great disappointment about the introduction of the voucher system at Whisky Live London, 2005. I am not suprised to hear this and I will do my best to resolve it.

To clarify, when you arrive at Whisky Live London and hand in your ticket, you will be presented with a voucher booklet containing 12 sample vouchers so you are free to taste up to 12 different types of whisky of any age. 1 dram = 1 voucher.

Once you have finished your voucher booklet, you will then be able to buy further booklets. A booklet of 5 vouchers costs £10 and you can buy as many as you like.

I realise this is a shock to you faithful Whisky Live lovers but there is a very good reason behind this which is your safety.

Whisky Live supports responsible drinking and in previous years, we have had many problems with people who have drunk far too much. They are sick, they fall over and lose their memory. In some cases, people have become verbally rude.

We feel it is safer for you if we introduce a system to try and encourage responsible drinking. It is your choice as to how much you drink but if someone ends up in hospital because they have fallen and hurt themselves, we could have a large legal problem on our hands if the authorities see that we have not tried to control the drinking of whisky in any way.

I hope you all understand this. At the InterWhisky show in Frankfurt last week, visitors had to spend 1 euro on each token. No tokens were free. A dram varied from 2 tokens to 20 tokens depending on the age of the whisky. So, we are not the only whisky show that has started to think about safety issues.

Thank you for your patience in reading this.

I very much look forward to meeting you all in March!

Rebecca
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Postby lexkraai » Thu Nov 25, 2004 1:23 pm

Dear Rebecca

Thanks for clearing this up and confirming my initial suspicion that coming to Whisky Live will now be a lot more expensive. I feel 2 pounds for tasting a small sip of whisky is very expensive. Like a lot of people, when I come to Whisky Live I don't intend to get drunk, but taste very small amounts of a lot of different whiskies. At least half of what's poured in my glass gets thrown away unless it really is a very good one I want to savour a bit more.

This way, I normally taste 20-25 different whiskies in the six hours. So that will now cost me 28 pounds for the entrance fee plus another 24 pounds or so for tasting beyond the 12 free samples. In other words, enjoying Whisky Live in the way I have been doing since the beginning now costs me twice as much.

For those who went to Glasgow, were extra vouchers the same price there?

As you say, this does come as a shock, and will probably mean I won't be coming in 2005. I hope you will re-consider the high price of extra vouchers for the following years.

Cheers, Lex
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Vouchers

Postby Rebecca Laurance » Thu Nov 25, 2004 2:57 pm

O'd dear Lex,

I realise you are clearly a very responsible drinker as many of our visitors are. I totally understand your point and yes, you are in for an expensive day out with this new system in place.

You are clearly a very keen supporter of the event and we would be very sad to lose you. I will see if we can perhaps increase the initial amount of vouchers included within your ticket price.

kind regards

Rebecca
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Thu Nov 25, 2004 3:23 pm

Of course this depends of the people manning the stands. But during the Oslo Whisky Festival (vouchers were mandatory due to government regulations) there were no problems getting several samples per voucher.

The idea was due exchange one voucher for a 20ml sample. But you only had to ask and they gave you for example two 10ml samples or four 5ml samples instead.
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Postby lexkraai » Thu Nov 25, 2004 3:31 pm

OK, Arve, that may very well prove to be the case in London as well, but I don't want to go there assuming it will happen only to find out it doesn't.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 25, 2004 6:53 pm

Well folks, thanks to the value-for-money people who made this all happen for us. It's a shame that people still behaving like that :(

Erik
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Postby lexkraai » Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:39 pm

Agree Erik, and what's ironic is that this hits the serious whisky enthusiasts hardest and those are the ones least likely to cause any problems.

For me, the key part of the enjoyment of Whisky Live is to be able to have a chat with the distillers and bottlers, sample their latest bottlings etc. For instance, last year I spent quite some time with Andrew Symington and he let me taste 5 or so cask samples of Edradour and Ballechin. Really enjoyed both the chat and tasting the samples (and we're talking small samples), but now with this voucher system, the bill for this one chat comes to 10 quid. And that's just one table. 2 quid per sip takes out the heart of the event.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby splicer » Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:46 pm

I have to say having been at Whisky Live London for the last 3 years I saw very few people so drunk they could not take care of themselves. The vast majority of people were fine.

Like the rest, I sample a large number of whiskies but I do not get drunk. I go to whisky live to sample the new whiskies and the single casks so I can then buy a few bottles without the risk of spending 80-100 pounds on a bottle and it turning out to be not very good.

I suspect this will put me off going again this year and instead I will make more use of my SMWS membership and buy more bottles from them.
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Postby lexkraai » Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:14 am

The expensive vouchers can actually encourage irresponsible drinking. Picture the following scenario: I've gone through my first set of 12 vouchers and I've bought two more sets of 5. So Ive tasted 22 whiskies. I feel that I'm probably reaching my limit, so decide not to buy 5 more. When I walk around the stands to say goodbye to a number of distillers and bottlers, one says he has something special under the table. Now without the voucher system, I would have tasted a small sip of it and called it a day then. But what do I do now? Refuse the sample and offend the guy? Or spend another £10? And if I decide to do that, do I just use one, which will make that last sip VERY expensive? Or do I feel that I've just spend another £10 on vouchers, so I might just as well use them all? So, in other words, I drink more as a result of the voucher system than I would have done without.

Cheers, Lex
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Voucher System

Postby Rebecca Laurance » Fri Nov 26, 2004 10:45 am

Dear All,

Everyone here at Whisky Magazine realises that this voucher problem is causing great distress to you all and we can understand why. It is a very difficult and sensitive situation to deal with.

We will have a discussion about this issue and get back to you.

Thank you for your patience.


Rebecca
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:32 pm

I don't think anyone at WM should be surprised that change upsets some people.

Those who have attended WL london have got used to being able to sample as many different whiskies as they can take for the entrance fee - and in my limited expeirence of the first two events, the number of visitors who drunk to excess was minimal, certainly less than a dozen or so. Clearly the opportunity of unlimited sampling is bound to attract some people who just want to get p*ssed, but I am sure that the vast majority of visitors are genuine enthusiasts who want to enjoy a terrific time sampling - and I think that is the key word - many brands/expressions that they might not otherwise get to try.

At the same time, in these times when people rush to litigation at the slightest opportunity, it is only right and proper tha WM should
take its' responsibilities seriously, and I feel that the voucher system is a valid, proven way of minimising that risk.

The posting from Angus suggests that the voucher system may not have been enforced too rigorously in Glasgow, and I am sure that the producers will continue to provide a dram - voucher or no voucher - to regular visitors.

If there needs to be a voucher system - and the fact that WM are now having discussions about it after Matt announced it and Rebecca defended it maybe indicates that this has not been properly thought through - it seems to me that announcing that the revenue from all vouchers sold would be donated to a suitable charity would make it more acceptable

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby susywong » Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:40 pm

I have to say the the voucher worked fine at Whisky Live Glasgow. I was behind the Douglas Laing stand, and we only used the voucher system as a guide. We took it to be discretionary. You get the same faces attending whisky live, and if you see a familiar face, then you're not going to ask for a voucher. I personally only took vouchers from people who either gave them to me at the start, or if someone was looking a wee bit worse for wear.

For the masses of people who attend whisky live, this is a fantastic opportunity for them to try many different whiskies, but after speaking to people after whisky fringe and whisky live glasgow, some of them couldn't remeber what half the whiskies tasted like!!

All i can say, is the majority of people attending will be there to drink, like it or not. Yes, some of you guys only sample a wee bit, and would still be standing at the end of the day, but i think you'd be in the minority.

I think Whisky Mag are right in using the voucher system. It worked in Glasgow, so it can work in London
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:49 pm

Interesting posting from suzywong!

At the first two WL events in London, nearly everyone who attended was still standing- and talking and walking - at the end of the day.

In Glasgow, according to suszywong, nearly everyone who attended was not!

Does that tell us something about Glasgow? Or London?

Cheers

Rudolph :lol:
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Postby lexkraai » Fri Nov 26, 2004 1:05 pm

I've been to all London events so far and I've not personally seen any serious trouble whatsoever. Yes, a handful of people were a bit worse for wear, but the vast majority of people was perfectly fine (and standing up) at the end of the event.

Of course I see the point that WM needs to be seen to encourage responsible drinking. But the post that Matt made first, stating that extra vouchers would be free but would be refused to anyone who had clearly had enough, would do exactly that, without doubling the cost of attendance for those least likely to cause problems.

I personally know of half a dozen people already who normally come to the event to sample many whiskies in small amounts and are now pulling out as it's no longer value for money this way.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Hendriks » Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:03 pm

I have to agree with Lex.
As a whisky fan and involved in the industry as is Lex, i feel most of us can make take responsibility for ourselves.
I still see it at extra income for the organisers as people who are looking for a cheap drink can still get it this way, it beats pub prices.

I really have to think hard if i'm comming or not, which would be a shame as it will be my 5th time aswell.

It will be good to get the terms and conditions aswell as the programm out asap, and nt as late as Glasgow.
Don't forget a lot of people have to make travel arrangements and the longer we're in the dark about the event the more it will going to cost us.

Regards,

Dennis Hendriks
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Postby lexkraai » Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:24 am

What's very interesting in this discussion is that in the latest issue of WM (#44), specific mention is made of a new survey among politicians which shows that a large number of MP's feel that individuals (my italics) should take responsibility for their own drinking behaviour.

I couldn't agree more!
Lex
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Postby adogranonthepitch » Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:24 am

Vouchers .... WhiskyLive ....... End of the world!

Dear everyone , if this is WhiskyLive being seen to do the "right thing" and the stands have a laisez faire/easy going attitude, then I say,OK. Extra books, if thats required, then lets have them in tha background, a small amount of £/$ to show they aren't worthless bits of paper......

However, if this is a way for Whisky Magazine to claw some extra revenue, well I am against it. This event is only publised to Whisky Afficiandos, not the drunken louts of London!

Speaking to the Distillery's, they say these events are expensive. They tell me they have to pay to be there! So where does the entrance fee go? I think I'm in the wrong business. I'll do Whisky Shows.

Is Whisky magazine watering down the kudos of the event by having upwards of 9 Whisky Lives in 2005. If they are not careful, will some distillerys refure to come to some ?

If we are not careful, we'll be having one a week!

Oh by the way, new edition of Whisky Mag is great!

Moan over

Christopher
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Postby lexkraai » Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:38 am

Hi Christopher

WM can easily be 'seen to do the right thing' without trying to squeeze extra money specifically out of the real enthusiasts (that alternative way was suggested in Matt's original, but then retracted post). I've heard from organisers of some of the whisky shows in America and they said they would never charge for samples on top of the entrance fee as it would go against the whole spirit of their respective events.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Hendriks » Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:04 pm

I hope this discussion will change the thoughts of the organisers a bit.We've seen all the discussions of the goodie bag before and the bad delivery items of WM.
The distilleries are very happy to put a lot of aaford,time and money into these events and i hope the organisers will see this aswell.
I know we all want to make some money from whisky and there's nothing wrong about that but it sometimes gets out of hand.

I like to come to whiskylive again as i did the last 4 times ,always nice to see old friends and new stuff but maybe i have to think about going to better festivals like the islay and speyside festival to get better value for money.
As a longtime subscriber of WM i getting more and more disappointed.

Dennis Hendriks
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Voucher system still on

Postby hightower » Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:25 pm

Seems that the voucher system is still on. Just got a newsletter from Whisky mag telling about the voucher system
....
At £28.00 per person per day, or £46 for both days, your ticket gives admission into the main tasting hall filled with stands where all the major whisky makers will be at hand. You will receive sample vouchers on arrival along with your tasting glass, and at the end of the day you collect your very own complimentary goody bag.
....

What i need to know is how many vouchers and how strict will it be enforced?

It will surely affect my descission
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Vouchers

Postby Cougar » Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:37 pm

Hi,

I attended the Whiskey Live event in London this year. It was my first WL visit and I had a great time, both in sampling some fine drinks and talking to a variety of interesting people.

One of the feelings I brought away with me was just how civilised and sensible the event was; in the entire weekend I didn't see anyone who was excessively drunk or out of control.

Although this was my first whiskey event (as a bourbon fan, I went in order to learn more about "real" whiskeys) I'm no stranger to organised beer festivals and I've almost always come away with similar feelings. People go to this kind of event in order to taste new drinks and be sociable, rather than to get absolutely trousered and fall over.

I was about to sign up for 2005 when I read about this new "voucher scheme", and was concerned. Given that I'm a thick northern oik, WL is already an expensive weekend for me (after you factor in travel, accomodation, entry ticket price, food etc etc). To me, this just stings of either a licence to print money (limited access to the event unless I keep paying out), or deeply patronising (I can't be trusted to control my intake sensibly). I could understand it if there was a lot of trouble last year, but if that was the case them I certainly didn't see any of it.

I know I'm prejudging the scheme before I've seen it first hand, but to my mind it could spoil the whole "spirit" and feel of the event. At the last event if I got something I really didn't like then I could easily pitch it and get something else without losing out. I think the new scheme is going to feel like going on holiday without enough spending money. I don't want to have to start worrying about rationing my vouchers or possibly wasting them on a whiskey that's not to my tastes, or having to spend another fortune on top of the already not inconsiderable financial outlay in order to experience the broadest range of available products. And at 28 quid for 12 vouchers, that's £2.30 per "dram", which was often considerably less than a normal measure - it's supposed to be a taster, after all.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I'm having serious misgivings about attending the next and future Whiskey Live events if this is the way things are going.

Just my 2p. Thanks for listening.

Alan.
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Vouchers

Postby Lawnmowerman » Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:46 pm

I have to agree with the comments from cougar and the others with reference to the "lack of drunks" seen at the 3 events I have attended. It is an event attended by whisky lovers not yobs.
It will make the cost potentially prohibitive, as like the other contributors I like to sample many, sample being just that, a small taste unless something v. special that you wish to savour.
Highly unlikely I will return to WL to sample 12 whiskies, at less than pub measures, for more than I could pay in a local pub, with travelling, food and hotels on top....... please rethink and keep the event special for whisky connoisseurs.
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