A whisky festival question for youDecember 27th, 2009
I hope you are enjoying your holiday season, spending your time with good friends, family, and great whisky!
I have a question for you. WDJK enjoys a global audience, and I need a global perspective.
When I dreamed up the crazy idea of WhiskyFest back in 1998, we were not aware of anyone else doing what we did–hosting a large whisky festival for the public that featured all the world’s whiskies (Scotch, Irish, American, Canadian, Japanese, etc.) and the people who make them. Not only did we want to bring all the world’s whiskies together for a unified cause (to promote whisky), but we also wanted to credit and feature the makers (master distillers, master blenders, etc.).
I know that the Scotch Malt Whisky Society was hosting some great events here in the U.S. before us, but they were–at that time–smaller and focused primarily on the Society bottlings. [I really enjoyed them, BTW.]
I could tell you many stories on how my wife and I didn’t sleep for a month before our first event in New York. We put our business on the line. If the event failed, the industry would shun us and our business would probably not survive. But I will save those stories for another time.
For now, I am hoping you can tell me if you know of any other similar independent whisky events prior to 1998 (i.e. 1,000+ attendees, with whiskies from around the world, and master distillers/master blenders pouring the whisky and hosting seminars)? Whisky festivals are a great thing. It would be nice to sell how they all evolved. As you know, they are popping up all over the world now.