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The world’s top 10 whisky shows

Whisky shows provide the perfect opportunity for both trade members and consumers alike to immerse themselves in one of the world’s most exciting spirits categories.

World's-top-10-whisky-shows
We round-up the world’s top 10 whisky shows

From fairs on-board a luxury cruise ship and events which honour the Sabbath, to Speyside celebrations and Bourbon festivals, there are an array of whisky shows for both aficionados and novices to attend this year.

A firm fixture in the diaries of spirits fans the world-over – from the San Francisco to Moscow – whisky shows offer a range of exhibitions, seminars and masterclasses, and of course an abundance of damn good drams.

So if you’re planning which spirits events to mark on your calendar this year, then take a look at our round-up of the world’s top 10 whisky shows.

Think we’ve missed any crucial choices out? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Whisky Live

Whisky-LiveAs the world’s most far-reaching and established whisky show, Whisky Live spans across numerous cities in Australia, Singapore, South Africa, the US, and many more.

Described as the “sampling and tasting event of the year”and an “international celebration of whisky”, the show offers whisky-focused eduction and entertainment for whisky fans of all levels of experience.

The event also provides an ideal opportunity for distillers, producers and marketers to promote their products while assessing the competition.

Exhibitors include both long-established corporate brands, as well as small, independent craft distillers.

For more information, click here.

Spirit of Speyside

Spirit-of-SpeysideRunning from 1-5 May in Scotland’s Speyside whisky region, the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival gives fans the chance to attend up to 300 events, including tasting sessions, distillery tours and whisky schools.

This year is particularly significant for the festival, which first launched in 1999, as it has been chosen to kick off Whisky Month, part of the Year of Homecoming Scotland programme – a year-long programme of events and activities to promote Scotland leading up to the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup.

James Campbell, chairman of the festival, said: “The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is unique in offering visitors the chance to not only sample some of the best whiskies in the world but also learn about the passion and tradition that goes into producing them.

“Our partners have really pulled out all the stops and created an outstanding programme of events from tasting sessions and our world-class whisky school to canoe tours and ‘drambles’ between our famous distilleries.”

For more information, click here.

TWE Whisky Show

TWE-Whisky-ShowThe Whisky Exchange’s annual Whisky Show is the largest in the UK, drawing exhibitors from across the globe.

Returning to London’s Vinopolis on 4-5 October this year, TWE’s Whisky Show will be repeating its formula of showcasing brands’ premium-line expressions.

With a limited number of all-inclusive tickets, visitors can enjoy a selection of fine drams, excellent food and engaging masterclasses, all of which are included in the ticket price.

Last year’s exhibitors included brands ranging from Glenfiddich and The Dalmore Scotch to Midleton Irish whiskey.

For more information, click here.

The Whisky Show (Australia)

Whisky-Show-AustraliaA different Whisky Show to the one outlined on the previous page, this fair is Australia’s own dram-centred celebration .

Presented by World of Whisky, The Whisky Show 2014 will take place on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 May 2014 at the Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport, O’Riordan Street, Mascot.

A key part of the celebrations of World Whisky Day on 17 May, The Whisky Show features 24 exhibitors and around 160 different types of whisky across over 50 brands from around the world.

Brand ambassadors and whisky producers will be on hand to chat about anything to do with whisky, while visitors are also able to purchase the whiskies from the World of Whisky Satellite Store at the show.

For more information, click here.

Whiskyfest US

WhiskyfestThe longest-running whisky show in the US, Whiskyfest gives visitors the opportunity to taste over 300 drams from across the world.

Whiskyfest travels to three US cities: Chicago, San Francisco and New York, which will host the show on 25 April, 3 October and 29 October respectively this year.

From single malts and blended Scotch, to Irish, Bourbon, rye, Tennessee, Japanese, Canadian, and craft-distilled whiskies, the event will see a vast selection of brands exhibit.

Over 1,000 ticket-holders have the chance to attend the show’s grand tasting session and seminars, as well as receive a Glencairn crystal whisky glass, event program, and a gourmet buffet that’s open all evening.

For more information, click here.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Kentucky-Bourbon-FestivalA festival dedicated to the Bourbon industry, this show takes place in the spirit’s heartland – Bardstown, Kentucky.

Visitors to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which will take place 16-21 September this year, are treated to 6 days of Bourbon education and tastings, as well as a generous dose of Kentucky hospitality.

From black tie galas to historical tours, there is something for all ages and interests.

Participating brands include: Blanton’s, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam, Heaven Hill and Woodford Reserve, among others.

For more information, click here.

Viking Line Whisky Fair

Viking-Line-Whisky-FairWhisky aficionados with a penchant for the high seas are sure to love the Viking Line Whisky Show – a whisky festival which takes place on board cruise ship the Viking Cinderella.

Sailing from Stockholm, Sweden, to Mariehamn, Finland, the show takes place over 24 hours, in which time guests have the opportunity to squeeze in tastings from 550 brands.

High end brands of chocolate, cigars and Champagne are also showcased, while whisky can be bought at tax free prices.

This year offers three separate fairs, with the Viking Cinderella departing on 6,7 and 8 of March.

For more information, click here.

Maltstock

MaltstockHolland’s biggest whisky festival, Maltstock features an ideal combination of partying and relaxing, where whisky is the constant star of the show.

The event will again take place this year at ‘Het Buitencentrum & St. Walrick’ in Overasselt, just south of Nijmegen, where guests will find themselves in the midst of a beautiful national park.

Described as a “unique weekend of relaxed whisky fun”, Maltstock includes masterclasses, plenty of great whisky, a whisky quiz, BBQ, campfire and lots more.

This year, the event will run from 5-7 September.

For more information, click here.

Whisky Jewbilee

Whisky-JewbileeHosted by the Jewish Whisky Company, New York’s Whisky Jewbilee provides and abundance of drams for Jewish whisky fans to enjoy.

The event was created when New York’s Whiskyfest moved to take place on Friday and Saturday – meaning Orthodox Jews could not attend the second day due to restrictions of the Sabbath.

This year’s Whisky Jewbilee will take place on 17 June at Studio 450.

Exhibitors will include Angel’s Envy, Glen Garioch, Kilchoman, Tamdhu, and Bowmore, among others.

For more information, click here.

Hong Kong Whisky Fair

Hong-Kong-whisky-fairIt was announced that Hong Kong would be getting its very own show dedicated to the dram – the Hong Kong Whisky Fair.

The show will take place from Friday 11 April to Saturday 12 April at Crown Wine Cellars and it is hoped some 450 people will attend.

Confirmed brands giving masterclasses include The Macallan, Glenmorangie, Interbev Group, Bowmore and Dalmore while the fair will also showcase various whisky accessories including Glencairn glassware, Uisge Source water and Pacific Cigars, Sir David Tang’s Cuban cigar distributor.

A website is currently in development and will be up shortly. Ticket prices will begin at HK$800.

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