Other highlights of 2012

This year, of course did not only consist of whisky drinking goodness. Other stuff happened to, with the highlight being the birth of our daughter. This post gives a bit of attention to other booze related stuff and leaves the family and personal stuff for my family and personal life.

I visited some tastings and events, albeit far less than many previous years. In my direct are there are not a lot of whisky events, and when they exist the planning is so poor (Sundays in December, for example) that I cannot visit them. This resulted in only a few guided tastings, and only a few festivals.

The events that I did visit were spectacular, though.

My Maltstock baptism and if there is one event I’ve ever visited that I want to recommend, it’s this one. The entry price seems steep at first, but if you start looking into it and see what you get for your € 200, it’s very much worth it. Food, drinks, masterclasses, accomodation. There is absolutely no reason to spend a dime more, unless you want to partake in the raffle, or buy a few drams from the limited number of stands.

Read more on Maltstock:

Whiskyfair Limburg
I’ve heard so much about this festival that I really wanted to go, and this year was the first time I actually managed to go. When you get there the entry is almost free, but the drams are not. I spent a shitload of cash on fantastic whisky. You don’t go here to try the newest batch of Talisker 10. You go here to taste stuff from your mum’s birthyear. If that sets you back € 15, so be it. One and two.

2nd Birthday Bash
My blogs 2nd birthday happened during the summer. I tried to make it bigger than it is, and that failed horribly. So after a lot of phone calls, ambitious plans, visits to different local venues I reverted back to last year’s plan and did a small tasting with good friends in the back yard. 2013 will be of similar setup, because in the end, I like it this way.

You taste great drams and have some great conversation with people that actually know you. There was some terrific whisky on the table and everyone had a good time, whisky connoisseurs and novices alike. Good stuff.

€ 1000 Tastings
I visited the first and second iteration of this tasting in Purmerend, at the beautiful Glen Drammor shop. They host this tasting every now and then to let everyone have a big glass of some of their favorite whiskies from the shop. A pro and con of this concept is that you can’t buy the bottle before going home. It saves quite a bit of cash, but you sometimes really want one which you can’t get.

Hielander whisky festival
The second edition in Alkmaar was a huge success too. Just like the first one. Already bought tickets for 2013’s edition. That says enough, right?

Blind Tasting Competition
Only just behind us but another joy ride! 18 unknown samples of obscure bottlings from distilleries you never think about. At least, some of them. Other are staples that just sneak in there and you don’t recognize for some reason. I’ve already reserved the money for the upcoming edition.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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