I was going to say that Maltstock days begin with the most awesome breakfast ever. However, this one started with a massive headache. Not overly surprising, but most unwelcome for sure. Rehydration starts.
Then came breakfast. For a couple of years Wullie Macmorland of Hielander in Alkmaar has organized this and it’s awesome. I simply love the Scottish breakfast and this guy sure knows what he’s doing. As I was agreeing multiple times with everybody around me, this is one of the main reasons for coming to Maltstock. No kidding.
After breakfast it’s time for the ‘detox walk’. It should be named ‘retox’ instead, since Highland Park organizes it and that means that, apart from walking for an hour or so, you also get to try a couple of drams. In this case the Highland Park 10 and Highland Park 25. There might have been another one but I can’t remember which one.
They also did some kind of smuggling game in which we had to find ‘hidden’ bottles of Highland Park 10. I found two. It won me a way too large t-shirt and a set of cuff links. I might have to start wearing proper shirts because of it. (Big shout out to Highland Park!)
The afternoon was spent trying whiskies that people brought, eating sandwiches, drinking lots and lots of water and general merrymaking with a lot of whisky friends. Oh, and there was also a few masterclasses. William Grant and Sons. Kevin Abrook hosted it and he’s brand manager for the innovation brands. That means no Glenfiddich and Balvenie, but Girvan, Ladyburn, Kininvie and Ailsa Bay. There was also a blended whisky from the Rare Cask Reserve series. I hadn’t heard from it but it went straight to the wish list. More on this masterclass later.
Niels Viveen hosted a masterclass on Mars Whisky from Japan. It was interesting with a lot of not-commercial info on the brand, which was a nice change of pace. Almost right after this the barbecue dinner started. Or in this case, barbequeue, but it wasn’t too bad. I got some food in before I had to run to get to the Masterclass of Billy Abbott for The Whisky Exchange. Well, actually is was a Single Malts of Scotland masterclass. That too was fun.
At night it was more barbecue. A lot of drams here and there. Lots of chatting and meeting old and new friends. The campfire was ‘last’, which means that after that I didn’t have anything planned. It was hosted by Highland Park (again) and where it used to be a sort of stand-up comedy with a dram or two, it now was a full blown whisky tasting. Highland Park ‘Ambassador’s Cask’, 15 and 18 came by. Then there was a Highland Park Vintage 1979 Ambassador’s Cask 4 at 56.1%. Now that was a dram!
Of course, more booze was had after, but I stuck to beers. I had been all whisky’d out.