Was it WHISKYLIVE? No, it was CRAP!!!
from russian whisky forum classicdramforum.com, from mr. laphmalt
A Shameful WhiskyLive 2012 Moscow, Russia
The 3-rd Russian Whisky Live event took place at the Korston hotel in Moscow, 23-24 Nov. 2012.
The following distilleries were exhibited (here and further I omit blends and non-whisky products): Tobermory 15yo , Bunnahabhain 12, 18, 25 yo (last one not for tasting), Blanton's bourbon (4 releases), Glenmorangie (Nectar D''Or, Quinta Ruban, Lassante, Sherry and Traditional,) Ardbeg (Ten, Uigeadail), Old Pulteney (12, 17, 21 yo), An Cnoc (Peter Arkle LE, 12 yo, Vintage 1998, 16 yo, Balblair (2001, 93, 95 Vintages), 2 Speyburns and one booth of the independent bottlers. Seems to me that is it.
Here I have to declare that I appreciate all efforts made by anybody for the popularity of whisky/single malts culture anywhere, and my words to distilleries' reps and to event organizers - thank you ! That is it again, the official part has finished.
And now is the unoficial one.
The Korsten hotel, which hosted the Moscow Whiskylive-2012, was arguably the wrong choice made by organizers (remeber, location, location and location ?) The shabby place which welcomes whisky lovers with obnoxious smell of the shahlyks and kebabs in the lobby does not look promissing from the very beginning.
I have never been to such a crappy hotel for the good dozen of years both in Russia and abroad, but - ok, may be one slip, no problem. It is being not easy in Moscow with hotels for a large exhibitions like this after all - everything is booked off in advance. Then I faced a line of some 30-40 people which lead to the wardrobe and it took 25 (twenty five minutes!) for me.
After entering the fair space (a poorly designed dark pavillion pretending to be a city yard somewhere in western europe, but with the faked winegrape plants spiralling down the metal construction and other strange surroundings, which might point to any place somewhere at Caucasus. There were few booths (may be ten of them) which were hosted the tastings. They were quite tiny, so that 3 people was the maximum to stand in at one time not to bumpering each other. (Hello, WhiskyLive- 2010 with large bright pavillions and comfortable seats !).
Another surprise - snifters were not available! Yes, you have caught this correct - we were given the plastic glasses. Dear Whisky Live management - here, in Moscow, the event offered plastic glasses for tasting the most sophisticated drinks in the world - single malts ! So your nice product was generously "flavoured" with the scent of freshly opened plastic. (Hello again, WhiskyLive -2010, Eau -De- Vie's, etc - there was no such an event who dares to make such a Shame.
By the way, should I mention that neither drinking water from bottles nor out of water coolers were not available as well ? At the whisky festival... Snacks ? forget of it.... OK, the water was available in the restaurant nearby. Another Shame.
Dear organizers, also, may I ask you please, why did you invite Mikhail Leontyev to host a master class ? Is this person a well-known expert in the field of single malts ? Was there nobody in the whisky Motherland who was not booked at that time to come to Moscow ?
Questions and questions... I made this post in English (sorry, I am not a native speaker) with a humble small hope that may be someone who close to the international whisky community or, at the best possible case, a responsible person for the Whisky Live budgetting process, could have an eye on which way the whisky promotion has been done here in Moscow. The festival is declining and degradating.
Am I coming next year if it goes ? I do not think so. At least, at this moment.
Sorry for the lengthy post and thank you for your time.