Tag Archives: Birmingham

Whisky Birmingham

My quest to sample as wide a variety of whiskies from as many different countries as possible took me to Whisky Birmingham.

Now in it’s 5th year – the show is organised by The Birmingham Whisky Club – and despite only being a short 45 minute flight from Dublin, there is a different array of whisky brands,styles & ranges on offer on the UK market in contrast to Ireland – which made the journey worthwhile for me.

I wasn’t disappointed!

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The Amathus stall @WhiskyBrum c/othewhiskeynut

From the first stall to the last – there were simply so many new expressions for me to sample – I just couldn’t get round them all.

There were a couple of stalls from importers & distributors  who had very fine arrays of not-your-usual-whiskies which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Taiwan whisky? c/othewhiskeynut

Another stall that impressed me was that by the LivingRoom Whisky bloggers.

That’s right – bloggers doing a whisky stall!

Jon & Mike put together a display of some of their favourite whiskies for sampling & sharing along with other fellow enthusiasts. Fantastic.

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Spey Whisky @WhiskyBrum c/othewhiskeynut

Several Scottish blenders & bottlers had wonderful displays. A sprinkling of American brands graced the floor together with some familiar Irish faces too!

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TullamoreDewKev @WhiskyBrum c/othewhiskeynut

Held in the wonderfully historic setting of The Bond in Digbeth on the Grand Union Canal & only a short walk from the transport hub of Birmingham’s Bullring. It’s a marvelous venue for such a friendly and relaxed show.

A very welcome feature was the VIP Lounge staffed by the helpful & informative Andy. It was like a little oasis of calm to sit down & relax, chat or take in the aromas & flavours of a choice selection of whiskies.

There comes a point in the proceedings however when you know you are getting close to the edge!

Thankfully there were water coolers dotted around the venue to keep you hydrated – and a couple of street food vendors in the outside area where I enjoyed a tasty pizza.

Masterclasses are another way to slow down the pace as well as gaining some whisky knowledge from experts in the field. If I’d done my homework better the Cheese & Whisky Pairing class would have been my choice. As it was I contented myself with a selection box of satisfyingly rich tasting cheese & crackers from the stall to twin my whiskies with.

Talking of favourites.

I always like to to come away with my dram of the day!

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Hven Seven Stars c/othewhiskeynut

Hven Seven Stars No. 3 Phecda shone for me.

Rich, chewy, meaty & smoky.

Perhaps not to everyone’s tastes – but then that’s what whisky shows are all about.

The ability to strike up conversation with fellow whisky enthusiasts you’ve never met before.

The camaraderie, the conviviality & the cráic.

That’s what I love.

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Sláinte Whisky Birmingham c/othewhiskeynut

A toast to Whisky Birmingham.

You made one whiskey nut very happy.

Sláinte.

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Whiskey Festivals

Real whiskey geeks across the world are already booking their holidays & planning trips to coincide with an array of whiskey events that take place throughout the year globally.

I’ve been to a few of these events – and thoroughly recommend them.

Why?

A room full of whiskey for you to sample. Often staffed by the people that make it. Whiskies you’ve never even heard of or can’t afford to buy.

A room full of fellow whiskey enthusiasts. Chat, compare, contrast. Conversation is easy with like-minded folks.

A room full of tasty food pairings & bottled water. It’s bad form to get too drunk so keep well fed & hydrated.

And a room full of whiskey knowledge, whiskey talks & whiskey tales that would take a lifetime to amass on your own steam.

Need any more reasons?

Below is a short itinerary of shows around the world I’ve either been to – or would like to attend.

Looking forward to bumping into you at one of them!

January

Well it’s a bit late now – but Burns Night on 25th January is an annual celebration of the Scottish Poet accompanied with whiskey & haggis! There are many local events held throughout the world. Check press for details.

The National Whiskey Festival is a new show held in Glasgow on 28th January.

February

Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair kicks off Dublin’s events. Although mainly craft beer – there are a smattering of distilleries showing. The main item this year will be the imminent opening of The Pearse Lyons Distillery in the Liberties. By the way – Pearse Lyons is a Dublin born business man who happens to be the founder & president of Alltech.

March

With low-cost airlines making a trip across to the UK affordable – I’m tempted by Whisky Birmingham. It’s only a stones throw away but from previous knowledge the range of whisky on offer is often different from that available in Ireland. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway – as well as an opportunity to see how a whisky club manages to put on a big show!

April

Whisky Live bills itself as ‘The Worlds Premier Whisky Tasting Show’ and is a global event taking place in prestigious venues across the globe throughout the year.

Whisky Live London takes place on 31st March to 1st April.

May

The Whisky Live roadshow continues it’s global reach down under in Sydney on 5th to 6th May and Canberra on 26th to 27th May. I managed to catch the Melbourne show last year.

June

Bloom is all about gardening – but there was a fabulous beer & whiskey tent last year!

Whiskey In Summer is a new event to Dublin on 30th June. I’ve teamed up with them to secure 3 Whiskey & Food tickets for only 13 euro each. Contact me if you would like to join myself & others in attending this new show.

July

If you want fabulous whisky in a fabulous setting – Whisky Live Hobart is the place to be! Award winning whiskies & stunning scenery.

August

The 21st International Berlin Beer Festival sounds like a fun event – and it’s free!

September

The Irish Craft Beer Festival has some whiskey stalls too. A wonderful array of craft beer & whiskey for all tastes. Great craic! 7th to 9th September.

Or if it’s bourbon yer after – Kentucky Bourbon Festival – 11th to 17th September.

October

The Yorkshire Whisky Festival is one of many organised by The Whisky Lounge across the UK & looks good. October 21st.

November

Whiskey Live Dublin is the highlight of the Irish whiskey calendar!  25th November

WhiskeyFest New York. Celebrate 20 years of whiskey festivals in the Big Apple November 16th. Other events throughout USA held too.

December

Well – we are far to busy enjoying our own whiskey festival at home to bother going out anywhere!

There are loads of other shows around the world.

Drop me a line with your own favourite.

Sláinte.

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Many thanks to allevents.in for the header photo.