Whiskey fest Sofia 2014
The event of the year for many is now officially in the past. Yes, I’m talking about the long-awaited by me Whisky fest 2014. I expected it since the end of the last year as I missed it for a number of reasons. Did it justify my expectations? The answers come in the following lines.
Briefly – yes! In extended version – even surpassed them. In a detailed version – you’ll have to come with me to the logical end of the article. In order. This year the Fest was held in Paradise Mall, in Sofia Event Center. As „Cherni Vrah“ Blvd. is under construction, I had to take the subway which led me to the closest point to the mall – „James Bourchier“ station, then I continued on foot. While I was walking, my head was full of spinning thoughts and expectations about the upcoming event and the one-kilometer-long distance worked well for me and I had a chance to order my thoughts and to shove the worries somewhere in the distant corners of my mind. After 15-20 minutes I saw the building of the mall and „sniffed“ the malt aroma, hovering around. I was scheduled with a friend-colleague whiskey enthusiast and together we headed to the cherished goal – the third floor, assigned for the Fest. Even stepping through the door I felt that the coming days will be anything but simple. At the entrance was located post in which affable girls welcomed the guests and provided them the necessary, depending on the purchased ticket. As I mentioned ticket there is no way not to note that each ticket had a unique price – starting from the cheapest, which costs about 15 lv. and included several talons for consummation, pass through the premium ticket including 8 talons /the currency with which could be bought the goodies/ and a wonderful tasting glass and get to my favourite ticket, which included the elements of the premium ticket and the right to visit 4 masterclasses. Subsequently, these talons turned out to be insufficient and I „recharged“ sixteen more. I would have bought even more if I could stay until the end of the third day, because the initiative deserved it. The colleagues and friends from Maxxium also deserve it for carrying out the weight of the overall organisation. And as I mentioned masterclasses, let me note that I visited those of Highland park, Dalmore, Macallan and Jameson. The first two of them were especially impressive. In them I was fortunate to taste Highland park 12, Highland park 18, Highland park 25, Highland park 30, Dalmore 12, Dalmore 15, Dalmore 18, Dalmore cigar malt и Dalmore King Alexander ||| – each one tastier and more mellow than the previous. Soon expect and their reviews. The classes of Macallan and Jameson were not bad, but could not compare with the tasted drinks in the previous two.
However, the clases were not the only thing that was worth the visitation. In the main hall were positioned the stands of the different brands as there was something for every taste. There were smoky whiskies, gentle Irish whiskies, whiskies with character from Scotland, US bourbon, exotic whiskies from Taiwan and Japan. On the last photo you can see and Fred Noe – the current Master Distiller of Jim Beam, which the organizers had managed to win for the cause „Whisky Fest 2014“ and who defended the honor of the bourbon in a funny dispute with the Irish and Scottish representative. The very same gentleman that you can see on the Jim Beam’s label.
As I already mentioned, I attended only two days of the Fest. These days, however, turned out to be sufficient to meet with the colleagues from the whisky forum, which I will not list by names, to not miss anyone and which I consider as my friends, Eli and Vili from Whisky Bar „Masterpiece“, Mladen from Bar Caldo, the ambassador for Grant’s Whisky – Kaloyan, Stoyan from Jameson and the friends from Maxxium Bulgaria, without whom this Fest could not be realized or wouldn’t have been at this level. Positive words and for the rest of the importers, which managed to delight us with quality and rare drinks. The organisation of the support staff was also outstanding and the beautiful assistants unobtrusively charmed the atmosphere.
Besides these beautiful memories and future friendships I hope, the Fest and my visits to Bar Caldo and Bar Masterpiece, provided me 40 whiskies which I will present you in the coming months.On the occasion of the conducted Fest I had the luck to meet with whiskey connoisseurs from Shumen, with which I hope to make a good friendly team and to taste drinks from near and far, which I will be glad to present you subsequently.And here, at the end of the article came the above mentioned logical final, bearing the detailed answer to the question whether I liked the Fest. I finish with a big THANK YOU to the organizers and participants, and I hope to see you again next year with ever more unfamiliar drinks, which to reach to more whiskey connoisseurs.
Cheers, mates! 🙂