This time not so much a whisky review of a dram, but a review of a whisky event. Last weekend it was Maltstock Time. For me the first time I visited this event so I was very curious about what was all the fuzz about this event. There were 11 nationalities present, form Dutch to Japanese.
So last Friday it was finally there, time to drive from my hometown, after a slight detour to pick up my friend Giovanni Masseti, to Overasselt. Located in an area which I don’t visit much, so instructed the GPS to lead me there. After a very nice trip, it took us about 2 hours, but it went very fast, discussing several things in the car, we arrived a little early at the Maltstock venue. And there it started, we were welcomed with open arms at the front door and after receiving the name tag and getting the bedlinnen, I went to find my dorm for these days. When opening the door of the dorm, you immediately know you are here for the whisky: At the table I found a bottle of Tomintoul from the Single Malt of Schotland, to enjoy with your roommates. After settling in I went for the gathering area to meet the arriving people and very important to collect my whisky glass.
The gathering area is the most important area I think of the hole event, everyone was asked to bring a bottle and they were all gathered at several tables in this area, so there were a couple of hundred whisky’s present, ranging from a Black Grouse to Blue Hangers and several very old whisky’s all of them to be shared with the fellow enthusiasts and giving enough to talk about it.
During the two days there were several activities: 9 Master classes, a fire alarm which didn’t shut up (false alarm), Chinese/Indonesian Buffet, Detox walk, a Raffle with lot of prices (fun part there where prices left at the table while all of the tickets were sold, so not all winners picked up there prices), a food market, a whisky quiz, a whisky barrel race, a bbq and a campfire.
Between these activities lots of time to enjoy together the brought whisky’s from the visitors or the importers (tasted at the industry section a great Archives 1974 Strathmill, a Wilson and Morgan Tomatin 1976). In that section I did meet up with Jock Shaw and together we blended my own Compass box (Port Dundas, Clynelish, Laphroaig and Ardmore) which resulted in a very nice dram, but I have to say it isn’t easy to don that so I was lucky that Jock helped me out to get a balanced dram.
The master classes I attended were initially a Nosing Academy, Aberfeldy (was unfortunately cancelled) and Benriach/Glendronach. The nosing academy was great fun, there wasn’t any whisky involved but we were to detect which aroma we nosed using a 24 whisky aroma kit. When the most people think they do now how peat smells, we all didn’t get that as an isolated aroma. Learned a lot of that mc.
At the late afternoon after a lot of whisky and fun at a table with some friends there was the Glendronach/Benriach master class. Tasted 5 excellent whisky’s including the Benriach 17yo, the Benriach 18yo, the brand new Glendronach PX 1993 (Excellent dram, high on the wish list), the Benriach 1971 (wow my birth year and a superb dram, unfortunately priced at 400 GBP) and the stunner the Glendronach 1972 PX (wow what a powerful sherried, chocolate coated dram this is, but again at prices around 400 GBP not fun to buy).
In between I did meet a lot of interesting people and made a lot of new friends. I had good time with Anki and Lennert which came from Sweden (they also gave me a present before departure a Mackmyra Special 07 whisky, many many thanks for that you guys) and of course meeting my fellow whisky bloggers Sjoerd de Haan and Gal Granov and many more!
It is impossible to describe the atmosphere I encountered. You have to see that for yourself. It is greatly relaxing with a lot of whisky enthusiasts talking and enjoying our mutual hobby and seeing the several people from within the whisky industry as Tatsuya Minagawa from Suntory, Billy Abott (speciality drinks), George Cairns (the journeyman whisky), Kat and Joel from Master of Malt, Dr Whisky (Sam Simmons) the Balvenie and many more to enjoy themselves around the whisky tables.
– Ardbeg Master of Malt new released range
– Port Ellen Master of Malt new released range
– Kavalam with Japanese Merlot finish
– Hibiki 12 and 17
– Port Dundas 38 yo grain whisky Duncan Taylor
– Kininvie 17 year old (very special dram, the last single malt they brought onto the market)
I did publish a photo-album on my facebook which I guess tell you more than words.
To show you how I enjoyed myself I already bought a ticket for Malstock 2013, I guess when you visited this event once you are hooked forever !
I want to thank all the organising people and off course the volunteers for this very special event, but especially Teun and Eline which kindly answered all my questions and solved problems so that I was able to go to this event without having to doubt the wheelchair accessibility of the venue (which isn’t 100%, but enough for me to enjoy the event! !
Oh no review without scoring : 100 points!!
See you all next year!!