Saturday, 23 March 2013

Whisky Festival Noord Nederland - Groningen

Me going to this festival... Well I could have before, and would have for years, but...

The last few years my husband always went with a group of friends to the Whisky Festival Noord-Nederland in Groningen. 

For years it was the only whisky event in the year that was reserved for the men, and being a women who also loves a good dram, well, that was no excuse, only men allowed.... Ah well, no problem, a boys day out for them, just let them be ;-)

This year sadly one of them could not make it at the last moment, and I was fortunate to be able to get his ticket. It was approved by all before even asking me, so I was very happy to be able to go...
Just this time they tell me laughing, ah well, no problem... Next year is far away, enough time to lobby ;-) A lot can happen in a year.... And still other nice events planned :-)

Every year I heard about this festival that was relaxed and very nice. So I was very curious about it. The car packed with me and 4 men, and a lot of stuff I drove half through the country to the north, to Groningen. There lives one of our friends and we all were staying at his place for the night.

We had tickets for the saturday evening session in the 'Der Aa-Kerk'. So before going there we had to get a good meal in the centre of Groningen. So with a bus downtown and enjoying some nice spare-ribs. Yum!

After that we walked through the beautiful centre to the church where the festival was. The weather was very cold, and there was a lot of strong wind, so the temperature felt like -15 centigrade. Gladly we did not have to wait very long, before we could go in.

Groningen is indeed a very nice festival and has a very good atmosphere to it. It was super to be able to have a conversation with people at the stands, and to find some beautiful expressions.
It was very busy, and sometimes you had to make a way to a stand, but then when you were there, there was plenty of time to have a conversation and ask questions. 

For the last couple of months I noticed that my taste and smell are changing and getting sharper, the more and more I taste. And the peated whisky's, where I stayed far far away from in the beginning, I now am starting to appreciate. This is something I enjoy very much, being more able to discover the different layers and differences. It is a road filled with learning and challenging my tastebuds... Love it!
I found some beautiful expressions at this festival, the ones at the top of the list for me are...

  • The Creative Whisky Company - Mortlach - 1995 - 17 years old
  • Gordon & MacPhail - Bladnoch - 1993 - 16 years old 
  • Ardmore - Traditional Cask
  • Amrut - Fusion
  • The Maltman - Bunnahabhain 21 year old - Sherry butt

After a very nice festival we went back to our friends house for some late night snacks, and after a good night sleep we woke to the smells of a nice breakfast with bacon, eggs, beans, toast and a cup of tea. Nice!

I can understand that the men love this festival so much, and that they look forward to it the whole year. I feel privileged that they let me be part of their yearly 'only guys' whisky event... Thanks guys! It was a lot of fun!

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