Thursday, 15 January 2015

Whisky Birmingham 2014

With 2015 firmly established now it's time to start planning the Whisky Shows we'll be attending this year. The first one we're planning on attending is The Birmingham Whisky Club's show 'Whisky Birmingham' on Saturday 7th of March. This will be their third full show, which once again will be held at The Bond, Digbeth, a unique group of Victorian buildings fronting onto the Grand Union Canal in the Warwick Bar Conservation Area, just a short walk away from the city centres main railway stations. The centrepiece of the complex is The Icehouse, an outstanding 19th century warehouse. This local landmark dominates the area with its majestic front and fine cobbled entrance courtyard surrounded by the original buildings.

The venue is perfect which a large exhibition hall for the main show, on site catering with the centre's cafe as well as street food under the canopied area alongside the canal. The line-up is coming together and this show is the only one we have come across that holds a cigar and Whisky Masterclass - the location is simply perfect!

Tickets are on sale now, and this year the standard ticket price includes a Festival glass (previous years they were loan glasses) and there is a VIP ticket available this year which allows early entry at 11:00am. Organiser Amy Seton tells us that the show has expanded further this year with two exhibition rooms and additional Materclasses.

For all the information and tickets I'd suggest you take a look at website as tickets sell quickly and it's bound to be another sell out! Click here for more details:

It was our first Whisky Show of 2014 and we thought to set the scene we'd tell you all about our day out last year:

Whisky Discovery HQ is just a stones throw from MK (we have a large trebuchet) which is dead handy for trains into Birmingham. The Bond is a fifteen minute walk from the City centre so getting to and from the show is really no more difficult than the London shows. We arrived early bumping into a number of our Whisky pals who tweet and blog, hailing from all points north and south.

There was a very impressive line up of exhibitors with well known names like BenRiach, Glenglassaugh, Bruichladdich, Glenfarclas, Gordon & McPhail, Isle of Arran, Kilchoman, Glen Garioch, Auchentoshan Bowmore, Penderyn, Suntory and many more! There was also an onsite shop from Hard to Find Whisky.

Along with the Whisky and Cigars Masterclass with Hunters and Frankau there were Beginners Guide to Whisky, Whisky and Chocolate matching and Whisky and Cheese matching Masterclasses on offer during the afternoon.

Our great pals from Living Room Whisky were our first port of call. Mike and Jon have run a 'Bloggers Choice Stand' for the last two shows and they had an impressive line op of whiskies for pouring, and we enjoyed three drams with them while catching up, starting with Dominic Roskrow's Discovery Road 'Smile'. It wasn't a new Whisky Discovery, but it is a Whisky I really enjoyed and was a nice way to start the day. Two new Whisky Discoveries followed with a 16 Year Old Ledaig from Douglas Laing's Old Particular range and a Caol Ila from That Boutique-y Whisky Club

John and Mike from Living Room Whisky and some of the drams they had on their Blogger's Choice Stand
Hearing that there was an Glenglassaugh 30 Year Old on the dream dram list I went to spend my token before heading over to the Morrison Bowmore stand to catch up with Brand Ambassador Ally Dickinson. Whilst there was nothing 'new' for the liquid log I'd never turn down the opportunity to revisit their Glen Garioch 1995 and 1986 vintages.

A fine brace of Glen Gariochs
Food was our next port of call. Food is listed as another of our passions (although we don't write about it!) but eating is definitely one of our favourite pastimes. Whisky Birmingham is well catered for as alongside the venue's Cafe Bond, street food vendors Soul Food Project and Pop Up Dosa were on hand to rustle something up right in front of your eyes (and yes, before the day was out we had eaten at both!). The Bond has a great covered area outside the main hall aptly name The Canopy

Organiser Amy Seton had arranged a special Whisky tasting with Hard to find Whisky for bloggers, where Sales Director, Jason Bourne opened a bottle of 1960 Glen Moray for us to taste, a real treat! This rare bottle of 1960 vintage Glen Moray was bottled in 1987 making it a 26 Year Old. It was was bottled at 43% abv and it appears that it was bottled from a single sherry cask (the bottle opened was No.534). It was in remarkable condition and was fresh and lively seeing as it had been in a bottle for the best part of 27 years! They still have a bottle available on their site if you're interested. Click here for more details 
Jason Bourne from Hard to Find Whisky presents the 1960 Glen Moray
After eating we went back into the show and seeing that Mike and Jon could do with a break decided to pitch in and take over their Bloggers Choice stand for the rest of the show. Whilst I love attending Whisky Shows and finding new Whisky Discoveries to add to The Liquid Log, we have found standing the other side of the table immensely satisfying, talking Whisky and getting across our passion for the spirit to new Whisky drinkers. My final drams were both peat monsters, the penultimate dram being one of my all time favourites, Compass Box Peat Monster, I seem to always gravitate to finding a dram or two of this before the day is out!

With last pours called and the show starting to pack up Whisky Birmingham has an additional treat for you in their after show 'Speakeasy' held on site in The Waterside where cocktails featuring anCnoc 12 Year Old were enjoyed alongside the nibbles and live music.
Lots of fun people at Whisky Birmingham 2014
This really is a show worth visiting, superbly organised with an impressive venue, don't miss it!

Make sure you're following the following accounts on Twitter too, there will be more information in the lead up to the show and news of competitions and offers: Amy Seton aka @TheWhiskyMiss  @WhiskyBrum and @LRWhisky

You can read our previous show reports here:

The full dram list is as follows:
  • Whisky Discovery #669 Discovery Road Smile
  • Whisky Discovery #709 Douglas Laing's 'Old Particular' Ledaig 16 Year Old
  • Whisky Discovery #710 That Boutique-y Whisky Company Caol Ila
  • Whisky Discovery #711 Glenglassaugh 30 Year Old
  • Whisky Discovery #455 Glen Garioch 1986 Vintage
  • Whisky Discovery #454 Glen Garioch 1995 Vintage
  • Whisky Discovery #712 That Boutique-y Whisky Company Kilchoman
  • Whisky Discovery #713 Glen Moray 1960
  • Whisky Discovery #714 Wemyss Malts Peat Chimney 8 Year Old
  • Whisky Discovery #324 Ichiro's Floor Malt 
  • Whisky Discovery #715 That Boutique-y Whisky Company Aberlour
  • Whisky Discovery #716 The One British ( Lakes Distillery)
  • Whisky Discovery #94 Compass Box Peat Monster
  • Whisky Discovery #147 Ardbeg Uigeadail 
Slàinte! Dave

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