After two crazy years, the world is slowly but steadily getting back to normal. For us drammers, this also means that many of our favorite events are finally making a much-anticipated return. One such happening, which I am especially glad to see back at its old strength, is the World of Whisky festival by Borco Marken Import. Everything about it is amazing: the stunning location on deck of an old crane boat; the mixed and mingled crowd; the joyful atmosphere; the cool live music; the delish streetfood; the fun supporting programme; the skilfull mixology; and last but not least the top-class whisk(e)y! In 2022, the latter was provided by six high-profile brands from Borco’s international portfolio: Glengoyne and Tamdhu from Scotland, Teeling from Ireland, Nikka from Japan, Evan Williams from the US, and Pike Creek from Canada. To make them all shine, they were presented via guided tastings, open tastings, and food pairings – all hosted by awesome people like Kenny Macdonald (Dram Mor), Gearoid O’Callaghan (The Whisky Jack), Coco Collmann (Lutz & Co.) and others. Also, there were all kinds of signature cocktails with names as mouthwatering as “Amazake Highball”, “Peanutbuttercup”, or “Pax-a-rette”. Little surprising, the whisky geek in me ordered the last mentioned drink first; but I got to try (and enjoy) most of the others at one point or another, too.
One of my personal highlights of World of Whisky 2022 was the Teeling booth. There, I experienced a food pairing unlike any I ever had before: whiskey and caviar. For this, born Irishmen Gearoid and Rob (Teeling’s Global Brand Ambassador) offered me and the other guests four very tasty drams (Wonders of Wood, Dark Porter Finish, Riesling Wine Finish, and Blackpitts) together with four differing kinds of caviar (including a vegan variety made from algae). The procedure was as follows: First, we slurped the precious seafood off the backs of our hands; directly afterwards, we followed up with a sip of whiskey. I found it amazing to see how the salty fish eggs (or substitutes) made the whiskies appear sweeter, creamier, or oilier. Another amazing fact: The whole thing did not cost a dime! You could try everything for free: the whiskies, the caviars, or both combined!
More great spirits were to be found at the Tamdhu stand, where bottles of the 12 Years Old, 15 Years Old, and 18 Years Old were neatly lined up for the visitors to pick and enjoy. As with Teeling, the drams were generously and bountifully offered for free! Since I was not too familiar with Tamdhu’s core range before, I very much appreciated the opportunity to fill that gap. Looking back, I have to say that I liked all three whiskies a lot and that I was especially impressed by the well-accentuated sherry influences they showed. To my nostrils and tastebuds, they provided a beautifully evened-out mix of sweetness, fruitiness, and spiciness that gradually increased in depth and intensity with age. To put it short: This was pretty brilliant stuff!
Looking back, I would say that the mentioned activities were already more than enough to make my visit to World of Whisky 2022 worthwhile. Yet, they only accounted for part of the fun. There was just so much to see, do, try, and taste at the event (entrance to which was free for anyone, by the way)! Among others, my pals and I also listened to a cool live gig by singer and songwriter Marten Pulmer; we slurped a platter of oysters; and we ate amazing dishes (such as burgers, ribs, or ramen). Some of us did guided tastings held on board of a ship doing a harbor tour; others got their hair or beard cut for free; and yet again others even got a small tattoo (which did also cost nothing but a well-deserved tip to the talented artist). In summary, we all had the absolute best of times and we cannot wait to celebrate the quality, variety, and sublimity of Borco’s World of Whisky again next year!
*** I attended the event as a regular visitor,
paying for all drinks and snacks myself (except the stuff
that was generally free, of course). ***