Next month, fans of a dram will be able to sample some of the world’s most unique whiskies when Midlands Whisky Festival presents its first ever ‘Fine and Rare’ bar. Taking place at thestudiobirmingham on 15 September, the event remains the biggest show of its kind outside of London, welcoming more than 60 brands from around the world.
Whisky fans will get the chance to brush up on their knowledge and discover something new, whilst choosing from the 300+ whiskies on offer throughout the day. With brands from Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and France, taking centre stage alongside Japanese, American and Indian brands, the one-day event is a chance for distillers and blenders to showcase their creations.
Now in its third year in Birmingham, Midlands Whisky Festival is one of the most established events dedicated to fine whiskies in the UK. Organised by Nickolls and Perks of Stourbridge, one of the UK’s oldest wine and spirits merchants, the event has been running in the region for eight years. Organiser Jerome Marks-Gardener comments:
“Keeping the festival fresh and exciting is always a priority for us, as we’re so grateful to the whisky fans who stay loyal and come to both our Birmingham and Stourbridge shows every year. The introduction of the ‘Fine and Rare’ bar this year is something that we know will really wow both collectors, festival regulars and those new to the show; giving them the chance to take their palate to new heights with drams, new and old, that really are something of a rarity nowadays.
“This is just one element of Midlands Whisky Festival though; we have more than 60 exhibitors who will be sampling over 300 whiskies in total; giving everyone the chance to expand their knowledge and try something new. In addition to masterclasses, intimate whisky talks, food pairings, cocktails and so much more!”
The Scotch whisky industry is said to be worth around £3.7bn to the UK’s balance of trade, with exports accounting for a further £4bn. This year’s festival will welcome Islay distillers Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Kilchoman and Laphroaig, in addition to Highland distillers Dalmore, GlenDronach, and Glenmorangie. Speyside favourites BenRiach, Benromach, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Glenglassaugh, and The Macallan, will also be in attendance alongside UK and Irish brands Green Spot, Jameson, Middleton, Penderyn, Teeling, The English Whisky Company, and The Lakes. Compass Box, Talisker and Jura will also represent the UK’s thriving whisky market.
Further afield, Swedish distillers Mackmyra and Spirit of Hven will join Japanese brands Nikka and Mars, as well as Taiwan’s Kavalan and Amrut from India. The USA will be represented by Heaven Hill, Koval, and WhistlePig, with STARWARD leading the way for Australia.
Midlands Whisky Festival also welcomes a selection of the world’s most exciting independent bottlers, including Douglas Laing, Duncan Taylor, Gordon & Company, Gordon & MacPhail, Hunter Laing, Morrison & Mackay, Mossburn, and That Boutique-y Whisky Company.
“Our selection of distillers really is unrivalled when it comes to whisky events, as we celebrate tastes and techniques from around the world. This year, we’re also welcoming Benromach’s distillery manager, Keith Cruickshank, who will celebrate the company’s 20thanniversary with a special masterclass sampling six of their exceptional single malts. This even includes their 1998 vintage anniversary bottling and a 1970 vintage Benromach bottled by Gordon & MachPhail in the 1980s. It’s going to be pretty special,” Jerome continues.
Tickets for Midlands Whisky Festival 2018 are on sale now, priced at £40, which includes a branded tasting glass, the chance to sample hundreds* of whiskies from around the world, access to a range of talks and tastings, and the opportunity to meet the makers. In addition to a ‘dream dram’ token, which is exchangeable for a taste of one of the many super-premium whiskies on offer; some worth over £1,000 per bottle.
To book tickets, visit www.whiskyfest.co.uk.