Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow. All the hot people are just out of shot.
It’s that time of year when attractive people in Scotland come out of hiding and men decide that it’s very important to wear North Face shorts, build a lacklustre fire outdoors and dangerously undercook some meat before it rains again. It is also the season of whisky festivals all over the world. As a result of this Whiskysponge journalists have worked intermittently at divergent locations on the clock face to bring you this bullet point guide to whisky festivals.
Feel the sweat…sniff it…TASTE IT!
The Whisykysponge Guide To Whisky Festivals
1: Whisky Festivals are descended from the SciFi themed nerd herdings of the 1970s. They first appeared in the early 2000s as a means for agoraphobic beardy men to conquer their fear of women and break out their collection of ironic t-shirts.
2: Early prototype whisky festivals carried out in Scottish places such as Glasgow were deeply harrowing. The mass graves and ‘chip bins’ of these sites can still be visited today so that future generations of whisky enthusiasts may learn from the mistakes of their forefathers. Some areas of early whisky festivity still carry a half-life of 100+ years and scientists remain unsure as to when we will be able to go in and recover the thousands of ‘premium dram tokens’ that nobody bothered to use. It is also rumoured that a man named Angus McThump has been trapped in a port-a-loo somewhere near George Square since Whisky Live 2005.
3: Modern whisky festivals are prevalent across the globe, here are some of the most popular:
.The Whisky Lounge puts on several throughout the year with shows in Antarctica, Svalbard and Scunthorpe planned for 2015.
.Limburg in Germany is themed around the enjoyment of rare and modern whiskies in a sauna-like environment where large European men stagger around on the brink of cardiac arrest under the weight of enormous rucksacks overflowing with sample bottles.
.There is The Whisky Sexchange show in London in October, Berlinda Binge’s sex,whisky and hipster themed festival is always a popular draw, with the infamous tagline ‘Putting The ‘Cock’ In Cocktails’.
Number 3 on the menu is known as ‘The Flaming Bawbag’
.The Lindores Whisky Society hosts a micro festival in Oostende in Belgium once a year where anyone caught with a bottle of whisky distilled after 1973 is lined up against the back wall of Hotel Giro and shot with a blunderbuss full of old spring caps.
They have to open about 3 cases of these each time they want to reload.
.Then of course there are the Whisky Live festivals which vary from city to city around the globe, they range in quality from pretty good to eye-blisteringly shit.
.Glasgow has it’s own whisky festival nowadays, functionally called the ‘Glasgow Whisky Festival’. It is very much in the same vein as the original Whisky Live shows, except in a smaller more cramped venue so it’s easier to dispose of the bodies afterwards.
.The Islay Festival Of Malt And Queues, or ‘Feis Queue’ in Gaelic, is held from the last week of May into June. It is a popular festival for whisky enthusiasts and queue watchers alike, featuring the kind of shameless, sprawling, corporate cash-in bottlings that have helped systematically stamp out the traditional music side of the festival in recent years.
4: Etiquette at whisky festivals is intricate and mythical. Anyone found guilty of the following can, by law, be subjected to a Loch Dhu enema:
.Farting at tastings
.Agreeing with Jim Murray
.Turning up with a fuck off sack of sample bottles
.Hanging around in the vain hope of being offered something from ‘under the table’
.Eating Munster cheese
.Secreting miniatures in the lining of your massive trousers
.Puking on the floor
.Crying like a bitch
.Demanding that Eddie Ludlow do press ups
.Harping on about how you used to buy Black Bowmore for £70 a bottle in the 90s
.Not having a beard
.Not being / being a hipster (location dependent rule)
.Telling everyone about your interesting recipes for Draff
.Not being Scottish
.Showing everyone photos of the amazing bottles you didn’t bother to bring along
5: Whisky Festivals can be dangerous, always remember to bring a rucksack with enough water for 4 days. 16 hotdogs. A small bar of nauseatingly posh chocolate made with sea salt or Moroccan chili flakes or Condor tears. A large notepad which you tire of recording tasting notes in after 15 minutes. 37 pens. A ball of strong elastic bands, enough to suspend 4 bottles of Ardbeg Mor from a Chinook Helicopter. A small stack of kindling and tinder box. 3 family size packs of Kleenex Tissues to mop the sweat from your brow throughout the course of the festival. 1 extra strong condom, in case you drink enough whisky that you feel like experimenting.
6: Food is now served at most festivals after the dark days of Glasgow 2005 and ‘Chundergate’.
7: You will meet an intriguing variety of people at whisky festivals from many walks of life who will delight in discussing whisky with you. Do not let this fact delude you into thinking that your opinions are of value at other times and locations out with the festival boundaries.
8: If you encounter Jasper Clementine of Whisybling.com at a festival remember that other people want to have their photo taken with him as well so please be quick and try not to gush all over his feet like a slavering thirteen year old girl attempting to mate with Harry Styles from One Direction.
(sub point) Jasper Clementine’s movements throughout Europe in summer can be accurately tracked by photos of him on the Malt Maniac’s facebbook page sporting a crow-barred on smile and a thousand yard stare next to some over-excited, weeping middle aged man clutching a bottle of Speyburn.
Just keep it to yourself ok!
9: You are statistically unlikely to die a horrific and agonizing death at a whisky festival. It is however recommended that you draw up a will before attending.
10: Above all else Whisky Festivals are a time of joy, sharing, passion, knowledge, fun, friendship and great memories.
11: You have to enjoy whisky for point number 10 to apply. If you do not they are a simmering circle of blether-tinged, sweat inducing hell that will bring you as much joy as an epileptic dragon riding a nest of hornets up your left nostril.
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