Over 200 whisky varieties, workshops, training sessions and, to top it off, auctioning the world’s best whisky. Participants of the first edition of Whisky Live Sopot had no reasons to complain.
The event was promoted as the first local event organized under the Whisky Live name. The festival was planned to begin at 1 pm, however, the first guests started arriving at noon. All this commotion was due to the training session on how to profit from whisky. Jarosław Buss – the event organizer steadily answered all the questions after his session was over. Whisky Live Sopot was located on two levels. The long corridor leading to the main hall served as a relaxation lounge. The lounge chairs and tables with magazines perfectly symbolized Sopot’s seaside charm. Over time the lounge filled with new festival guests searching for a moment of rest from the business talks and tastings at the booths. The festival store was located next to the main hall entrance, its wide assortment offered all the whiskies served at the booths. Liquors were sold at special prices – with a 23% discount (equal to the VAT tax rate).
The organizers kept their promise and took the festival guests on a tasting journey through all the corners of the globe. The spacious Marco Polo hall gathered dozens of exhibitors. Highland Park, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Dewars, Teeling – are one of many that appeared at the festival. Ardbeg’s booth tempted with the premier of Kelpie – whisky matured in casks made of oak harvested in the Black Sea region. Bacardi allured festival participants with a unique Scotch whisky encased in a special cabinet – 31 YO Craigellachie, the only bottle available on the Polish market. It was this whisky, that a few weeks back, was chosen the best single malt whisky in the world at the World Whiskies Awards in London. The bottle was to be auctioned, but the youngest 13 YO expression was available for tasting.
The second level offered further premieres. The Italian Puni, tempting with its unique shape acknowledged by experts was available at the booth of the festival organizers – Tudor House. In 2016 Puni was distinguished with the title of best design. A large queue also formed by the booth of Icelandic Floki. The last of the premiere items travelled over from Austria – Waldviertler Whisky JH proved to be a sweet liquor smelling of honey and vanilla, a version with roasted malt was also available. The Polish mark was name by SEN, known for their particular care for liquors, from harvesting fruits to filling bottles – all is done by hand. Having in mind those who wanted to continue tasting whisky outside the festival, there was a special Dram Station,where whisky bottles with dozens of whisky varieties were available. Most of the sampled whisky was included in the ticket price. Those less inclined towards “Scotch” could enjoy a selection of rums, cognacs and even vodka.
The weather proved to be the festival’s ally to the satisfaction of Whisky Live Sopot participants. They could enjoy a terrace looking over the sea and the Sopot pier. With each hour, more people arrived at the festival grounds to sip whisky and savour the sea breeze. Some of the guest even decided to take chairs to the outdoors.
Of course, the festival would not be complete without Masterclass sessions – a mandatory part of the festival. Mark Harvey held a Masterclass titled „Teeling – the magical cask”. Accompanied by two other sessions: „Glenfiddich” and „Glenmorangie and Ardbeg – Beauty and the Best in the world of whisky” with a chance to taste the premiere Kelpie. The ticket also included a chance to participate in workshops held by Przemysław Gwardzik – owner of the Red Wine and Whisky Workshop.
The festival ended with the long announced auction of 31 YO Craigellachie from Speyside – a whisky with unexpected aromas where as experts say – sweet fruity notes and dry herbal notes play interchangeably. The unique item was sold for 2 500 PLN.
We would like to cordially thank all festival guests and participants for such a large turnout and warm welcome on the “uncharted waters” of the Baltic Sea. We did everything in our power to meet all expectations. We are proud to uphold the good name of the international Whisky Live brand.
We would like to thank all the Partners, Media Sponsors and Exhibitors for their support and commitment in organizing the premiere edition of Whisky Live Sopot.
The success of the first local edition is a success for us all. We are proud that Sopot joined other host-cities worldwide that welcome Whisky Live events each year. We hope to see you during the 4th edition of Whisky Live Warsaw, 13-14 October this year!
See you soon!