Hielander Summer Whisky Festival – “the after blog”

How cool is it to be invited by none other than Wullie Macmorland and to be able to do a sneak peak at a whisky festival in advance!
For those who don’t know Wullie (yet)… He is the owner of the Scottish Restaurant in Alkmaar “Hielander“, a Keeper of the Quaich and founder of the Hielander Whisky Festival.

But for this blog we write about the first edition of the “Hielander Summer Whisky Festival”. Due to all the COVID issues, no Hielander festival had been organized for a few years and there was a great demand for a festival and certainly organized by Wullie.
So… a Summer edition was organized!

Upon arrival at the Festival we were welcomed by Wullie himself and we got some background about this summer edition and the various stands. Just to name a few:

  • Anker Amsterdam Spirits
  • Ben Nevis Club (of course since Wullie is one of the founders 🥃😉)
  • Bresser & Timmer
  • De Monnik Dranken
  • High Spirits
  • The Whisky Train
  • Whisky Import Nederland
  • Zeewijck

“3.000 m2 whisky suppliers/distributors present their best whiskeys, there is Scottish and Irish delicacies, there is clothing, travel information, whisky stuff and a lot, a lot of whisky…”

Wullie Macmorland

After exploring HAL25, shooting some footage and getting an idea of what we wanted to discover for ourselves, we quickly realized that there is indeed plenty to do, drink and discover for everyone. For both the beginner, the advanced and experienced whisky festival visitor! And a BOB could also have a great time here.
So… if you haven’t been to a Hielander festival before… Let us convince you through our experience! And the cool thing is that we also shot our first vlog there. It will be available here soon.

We started our festival at the stand of Zeewijck where we drank a very nice Clynelish 🤫 and Dailuaine from the Independent Bottler “Scotch Universe”.
The Clynlish was so good that I, Whiskeypeater, ordered it right away! What a dram… 🥃🤤

We then spent quite a while at Whisky Import Nederland. The reason… Gerben Ellenbroek 😅.
Great when a rep can be just as enthusiastic and passionate about whisky like us 👌🏼. We have discovered so many beautiful things with Gerben, but the releases of Whisky of Voodoo and Càrn Mòr must be specifically mentioned.

Of course we couldn’t resist visiting Hans Bol from High Spirits. It is a “must visit” for us at every festival where Hans is. Hans always brings something special and so this time too! A beautiful Miltonduff emerged from behind the counter 🥃😉. And we also discovered a beautiful ex-bourbon cask Mortlach.

We then made a stop at the Maltstock stand, among other places, and ate something delicious from the Hielander restaurant, because of course good food was provided by the well-known restaurant from Alkmaar.

We decided to drink some special drams at the end to close this great festival. Luckily we had already determined the stand before and that’s why we ended up at Dramfool’s ‘The Jim McEwan Signature Collection’.

“The Jim McEwan Signature Collection is the coming together of two men with a passion for Islay and Bruichladdich’s finest output – Jim McEwan (a legend who needs no introduction) and Dramfool’s Bruce Farquhar.”


For us, the Journey’s End (how appropriate as the end of the evening) was the most special dram of the evening. It is a 10yo Bruichladdich aged on a first fill Banyul cask. We know that Bruichladdich has special wine barrels in her stock, but a Banyul* cask was also a first for us.

*Banyuls is a fortified French wine from Roussillon.

This was a successful festival in our opinion. We have been able to discover all kinds of new things and are sure that we will be there again with a new (Summer) edition.

Thanks again to Wullie and his team from Hielander. We will be sharing our first vlog with you very soon!


Dutch Whisky Brothers

Een gedachte over “Hielander Summer Whisky Festival – “the after blog”

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