The event was part of Celtic Connections 2017 so there was wonderful Scottish music playing throughout and despite this being the first time of it being held, I felt it went well and I’d definitely go back!
I would say the National Whisky Festival was bringing some of the best aspects of new trends in Whisky and a general freshness. This was expressed through the number of relatively new distilleries that had stalls present like Annandale Distillery, Arbikie and Wolfburn; here you could taste their new spirit and get a feel as to what is happening. I was also very interested in the Whisky cocktails that were being offered by The Love Scotch Cocktail Bar; there is a great opportunity to use quality whisky rather than standard Whisky blends to create wonderful tasting experiences that far outshine gins. Love Scotch were doing a great job with their various cocktails, my favourite being Dufftown Girl was particularly lovely.
In addition to the above stalls, there was something for everyone from Nikka to A.D Rattray.
The masterclass I attended was hosted by Blair Bowman and it was thoroughly enjoyable. The class attempted to recreate the environment of a blind tasting by sitting the audience in the dark to drink so they could use only their nose and palate to identify the Whisky. Blind tastings are a terrific way to remove prejudices and stereotypes regarding Whisky and they are also the best way to improve your own palate.
The Whisky I enjoyed was a 10 year old Tamdu, lovely honey notes. The Stronachie 10 year was also a lovely dram.