Once in a while you find out about something through social media… (it almost sounds like a fairytale opening 🥃😅)
Through a #Dutchdrammers group on Instagram we heard about The Art of Drinks whisky festival.
Unfortunately we couldn’t attend the festival together, due to the fact that I, @Dramtastic.86, am away for work at the moment. But I, @Whiskypeater, had some contact with the organization of the festival to know what to expect of it. They told me it wasn’t just about whisky, but you could find almost any kind of (non)alcoholic drinks at the festival.
So I was fortunate to be joined by my Mrs. Whiskypeater during this event 😉 (not a bad replacement to spend the day with, instead off with my Dutch Whisky Brother 🤣).
We arrived in Amsterdam at the venue to early, which wasn’t planned, but there’s lots to do and eat/drink anyway in the city so we did a mini City-Trip with some walks and koffiebars, before we went to the Westergas Factory. The location is unique and really well picked for this festival, kudos!
Just after the entrance we received a small (shot)glass with off course a logo of The Art of Drinks on it. Just as you would expect from any well organized festival. The setup of the festival was perfect for the location. It’s an old round building where they placed all the stands mixed and random. In the center of the space there were some resting- and standing places to relax and explore your drinks. With a setup like this, I was actually forced to search for the whisky stands, but also persuaded to try some other drinks. Again some kudos!
After we looked around and got ourselves some tokens, we planned some “Must Go To” whiskystands to visit. Also due to the fact that we encountered several familiar persons like Ivar Wittebrood from De Monnik Dranken (one of the bigger distributors of liquor in the Netherlands).
But we started of with a tasty To Øl #DIPA beer and a Disaronno Velvet for the Mrs. Enjoying our drinks at the center of the venue, we met up with some other #Dutchdrammers. After we finished our starting drinks and said hello to everybody we decided to continue the tour and explored some drinks…
We tried some Liquorice Caffo at the stand of Petrus Boonekamp which we really liked! We started talking with Matthijs and because he understood that I’m a whisky guy, he let me taste a Heritage Caffo 36yo and 46yo Brandy. I must admit, it was very delicious and the price/quality ratio was really good. But still… I’m a whisky guy, just like my Brother.
There was so much to see and taste at the venue that we needed to make some decisions. But luckily we encountered Robert (a.k.a Confessions of a Whisky Freak) and also his Mrs., who were invited with some other Bloggers by De Monnik Dranken to taste some special stuff on their VIP status. He actually made me and my wife a VIP by escorting us to the special section. Thanks for that Robert 🥃🙏.
Ronald Anneveldt (Keeper of the Quaich) welcomed us and took us on a journey with some AMAZING drams! He first opened up a 29yo Littlemill – Private Cellar Edition #3, @ 47.3% ABV. What a dram 🤤. We haven’t had that many Littlemill’s before but this is in my top list of drams. (scored it 90/100 on Whiskybase)
And what about a Glenturret 30yo, @ 41.6% ABV, 2021 release… This was my favorite dram of the Event! So complex and full on with the flavors, even after 30 years of maturing and with a just over 40% ABV. It’s a “once in a while dram to try”, or even better… a “MUST try” 😉 (scored it 90/100 on Whiskybase). Although my Mrs. doesn’t really like whisky, she really enjoyed and appreciated these drams. That says a lot!
After these amazing drams we decided to get a break, grab some food, and rinse our palates. The food options weren’t superb at the Event, so that would be a good thing to change in the future. During our break, Ian, from Waterford, came to me and gave me a dram from an undisclosed sample. I, @Whiskypeater, in contrary to my brother, am normally not a fan of Irish whisky’s (it might be in my name 🤷🏻♂️), but this stuff was delicious! I know what it was, so I’ll keep an eye out for the release of it, but unfortunately we can’t tell you anything about it… yet 😉.
To end our day at the venue, we went to the stand of Tomintoul. We know some of their (brands) releases and we can definitely enjoy a Glencadam, but we needed to extend our journey on their brands like Tomintoul for sure. After a good and interesting talk with Tomintoul’s Global Brand Ambassador and Master Blender, Iain Forteath, I tried the 21yo @ 40% ABV. I liked it, but it missed something. After trying the 16yo and again not totally convinced, Iain selected something special for me and more suitable to my preferences: the new Tomintoul Cigar Malt @ 43% ABV.
My o my… this was definitely my kind of dram. It’s almost like an infused whisky with cigars. Really earthy, tobacco and a bit dirty with dark sherry notes. (scored it 88/100 on Whiskybase).
With the Cigar Malt as a perfect last dram we decided to go home. Of course we encountered (again) some “acquaintances” 😉. It’s always good to say hello to our ‘Dutch Mr. American Whisky’ Whisky4all Norbert and people like Noortje ‘Whiskylifestyle‘, Melody ‘Whisky Woman‘ and Herbert Roenhorst.
Because of this festival me, @Whiskypeater, and my Mrs. were surprised by some drinks. So I contact my local liquorstore ‘the Spirit of Wine’ (who of us hasn’t got one a special “own” local one… 🙄) to get us some bottles. Funny fact was that the owner of the store send me a picture of Iain with the Cigar Malt and within 4 days I already received my bottle 🙏.
The best thing about this festival and the outcome of new bottles to my collection, was to share them with my Dutch Whisky Brother @Dramtastic.86 when we’re back together again 🥃.
A special thanks to all the Dutch Bloggers mentioned in this blog. It’s always good to catch up at an event and explore some drams together. And of course to Mathijs, Ronald and Iain for all those amazing drams (+ undisclosed sample) and information.
Dutch Whisky Brothers