This year’s Whisky Fair at Limburg in Germany enjoyed its best-yet visitor figures of 4,500.Though still very much an event for small independent bottlers and specialist dealers, the event is starting to attract some of the bigger names. Glenmorangie took a stand, as well as turning one downstairs room into the Ardbeg Lounge, complete with upturned barrels as tables and live music. It was packed solid throughout the two days.But for the enthusiast the Fair’s strongest suit remains the sheer variety of malts on offer at the 45-plus stands. As always there were innumerable special bottlings.And there was a remarkable number of the little-known, the forgotten, the mothballed and the defunct, including Glenallachie, Caperdonich, Imperial, Allt-a- Bhainne, Dailuaine, Tormore, Glencadam, Ardmore, Aultmore, and Inchgower. It was even possible to sample such unfindable gems as Ladyburn and Kinclaith.Not that all the best whiskies were malts.The Duncan Taylor of Huntly stand had a delectable Carsebridge single grain, The Whisky Exchange a magnificent George T Stagg bourbon, and Cadenheads a 14 year old cask strength Cooley.Significantly, nearly all the stands for next year’s fair (being held earlier, on April 8th- 9th 2006) are already reserved.