I’ve never really written anything on Whisky Festivals until now but today I will speak about my first Whisky Festival experience of 2017. This will also be a first time look at the Harrow Whisky Festival which was held at the Grims Dyke Hotel (Harrow) between the 13th-14th January 2017. So the event was broken down into different sessions and I attended the evening (last) session on the 14th of January, the price for entry was £19.50 for those wondering the cost of entry. The Grims Dyke Hotel as seen in the picture featured is a beautiful.19th century Tudor style house.
This was my first sight as I entered the main hall, however this location also had the Whisky Festival held in a room on the lower floor. This wasn’t a massive occasion compared to others I’ve attending in the past but it was a place where you could really get to speak with all the Exhibiters and gain knowledge into the products being tasted. Next up I had to find a very important piece of equipment the Whisky tasting Glass which was situated in the centre of the room. So lets move into the exhibiters and Whisky.
So the first stand I visited was Bartels Whisky stand which is a UK based family run independent bottler with some magnificent selections of whiskies under the label of Highland Laird. The first whisky tasted on the evening was the ‘Malts of India’ Paul John 2009 as recommended which was a magnificently smooth single cask peated Paul John. Then something caught my eye called the ‘Dream Dram’ which was £5 for the dram and was the Jura 27 Year Old 1988 Highland Laird which i’d not tried before so I decided to give it a go. The Jura 27 Year Old offered a delicate floral mouthful with a refreshing slighty minty finish.
Next up I moved a little to the left to see a familiar face standing behind the Paul John Indian Single Malt stand Shilton Almeida. I got to taste the Paul John range on offer and also learnt a little more about a few of the whiskies in the Paul John range. As always the Classic was my first but Shilton chose a very special which was the Paul John Single Cask #1906 which was new to my palate but as I’ve got one in the mail from amazon I could say no to a sample. I also got a picture standing at the Paul John stand. Many thanks Shilton!
After walking around for a little while I also got to finally meet Adrian from Claxton’s Spirits and just before the call of final drams got to taste 3 really interesting Single Cask bottling. The first was the Speyside Ben Nevis 1998 17 Year Old which had a vibrant fruity palate with a body of spice behind it. Then finally the drams to end the night as “final pour” was shouted across the room was from the Islay region in the Bruichladdich 2005 11 Year Old Red Wine Cask finish, this rich full bodied dram is definitely something to savour & look out for.
To conclude, the night was a magnificent event if you were looking to really gain more knowledge from all the brands. I’d also like to say thank you to all whom I met on the evening and all the brand representatives who I spoke too. I look forward to all the upcoming releases which I heard about from the brands at the event & next years Harrow Whisky Festival and hopefully see you there.