This weekend sees the 10th and final Lindores Whiskyfest take place in Ostende in Belgium. For those of you who drink modern whisky, here is a short reference guide to what a bundle of European whisky nerds will be getting up to this weekend.
Who or ‘what’ is ‘Lindores’???
Lindores is Belgian for ‘Sundried Tomato’. The society name is a reference to the time one of the Founding Father’s (Beert Giro) became so aroused by a particularly rare singe cask Ardbeg that he caused heat-blistering to a nearby basket of fresh Plum Tomatoes in a branch of Asda just outside Alness in Scotland. It was particularly troubling to the locals as they had never seen a Sundried Tomato before – not believing the sun, or Belgian genitalia, to be capable of creating such witchcraft. Beert and the rest of the burgeoning Lindores Whisky Society were run out of town by angry teuchter hermaphrodites armed with flaming pitch forks and Ferguson Tractors. They were forced to seek refuge on a nearby oil rig until the European Parliament authorised their rescue by hovercraft just over 13 months later.
It was due to this experience that they decided to issue special ‘arousal proof’ underwear to all existing and future club members. The underwear is an inexplicable shade of beige that scientists have described as “non-existant in all of nature”.
Yes but who are these people???
Good question. Lindores is centred around certain key members. Here are some of the current most high profile members. (Note: The Lindores Whisky Society is a bit like The Apprentice in that people can be fired at a moments notice. This list is accurate at the time of going to press as far as Whiskysponge understands.)
Luc Zimmerman – Grand High Wizard Of Lindores
Favourite Distillery: Glenfarclas
Hobbies: Cigars, Glenfarclas, i-Phone apps, Clay Pigeon shooting with bottles of Samaroli Bowmore Bouquet, being chased naked through the streets of Las Vegas by George Grant, recording intricate but subdued later period solo albums in his inimitably gravel-flecked vocal stylings.
Most prized bottle: A very rare Nebuchadnezzar of Glenfarclas 105 rotation 1973 he once managed to smuggle back from Myanmar duty free in his cabin luggage by pretending it was his pet Donkey Gertrude.
Beert Giro – Lindores Club Mascot (Partially Failed Tintin Clone)
Favourite Distillery – Ardbeg
Hobbies: Talking about his Ardbeg Collection, Collecting Ardbeg, Telling people about his cases of Laphroaig, the history of the German Coastguard, rubbing €50 notes into the oily remnants of still-warm chicken carcasses before presenting them sheepishly to disgruntled waiting staff.
Most prized bottle: Ardbeg 1950, 21 year old, official single cask bottle 1 of 1 for distillery staff. Bottled 1972. Signed by Richard Branson. Geert would like you to know he has THREE cases of this one!
Dominiek Bumbag – Lindores Musical Director
Favourite Distillery – 1960s Bowmore, or 1960s Clynelish – Bowelish perhaps?
Hobbies: Weeping over expensive guitars, telling the younger generations about the horror that awaits them in the ‘testicle department’, bumbags, rubbing himself in 19th century Madeira and making devastatingly sticky love to exotic women.
Most prized bottle: The partially destroyed 1.13 litre bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label that John Lennon once tried to ‘bottle’ Donovan with while he was trying to force down a third plate of Lentils in Rishikesh under the watchful gaze of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (or ‘Jim Murray’ as he was later to be known) while Mia Farrow was hiding in a cupboard.
Dirk Vantaliban – Lindores Chief Of Security
Favourite Distillery: Port Ellen
Hobbies: Playing in his sandbox, undermining the operational capabilities of the Taliban by destabilising the poppy crop and thereby affecting their ability to produce and sell Speyburn on the international Black Market, Ping Pong.
Most prized bottle: If he told you he’d have to kill you!
Christophe ‘Billy’ Bloefeld – Lindores Alternative Entertainment Supervisor
Favourite Distillery: Whatever maaaaaan!
Hobbies: Chilling out, eating Doritos, telling the other Lindores members to ‘chill the fuck out!’, eating spicy Doritos, watching The Big Lebowski, drinking whisky from a bong while watching the Big Lebowski and eating Doritos, cuddling the people he loves, Hi-Fives, laughing, laughing in Scotland, pretending he’s not from Belgium, secretly eating Doritos under the table at expensive whisky tastings.
Most prized bottle: Somewhere in the downstairs cupboard under the stairs between the toboggan and the pre-1970s Chemistry set. Or maybe it’s the one next to that old poster of The Grateful Dead that has about seventeen telephone numbers on the back that all go to answer machines of one guy called Kurt who lives in Luxembourg and can ‘pretty much find it if you give him a weekend and €500 in miscellaneous operational business costs’. That one.
Lindores 10th Anniversary Festival Schedule:
10am: People begin to arrive. Beert Giro has been awake for 17 days straight already.
12pm (midday): Anyone from Scotland is already drunk after 3 bottles of Duvel.
2pm: The kitchen at Hotel Giro has run out of steak tartar.
4pm: The festival is officially opened. Everyone celebrates with a nap.
7pm: The great welcome tasting. Tasting lasts 90 minutes with a line-up of 87 bottles. €150 per head.
9pm: The ‘Nocturn’. Everyone can attend so long as they bring a bottle. Luc Zimmerman and Beert Giro stand guard and asses every bottle that passes the door. Anyone deemed to have brought an inferior bottle is allowed in anyway but is glared at from the corner of the room by Belgian men brandishing particularly lethal looking shrimp croquettes. Scottish man who brings a €6 bottle of Albarino is inexplicable popular with everyone!
1am: Annual trip to the chicken place.
2am: Beert Giro deposits a large amount of VERY greasy Euro notes at the all night dry cleaner in Oostende.
4am: Patrick begins dancing.
8am: Breakfast. Seven grown men attempt to sufficiently navigate a continental breakfast bar without creating widespread destruction.
11am: Main festival open.
11.30am: Jolly, hairy Italian man renders entire process of appreciating delicate, ancient single malts entirely mute by force feeding everyone golf ball size chunks of 8 year old Parmesan cheese smothered in Balsamic vinegar the colour and consistency of Satan’s bone marrow.
1pm: Luc opens a 1922 Lagavulin and charges people €250 to watch him drink a measure.
3pm: Olivier Humbrecht totally fucks everyone up by feeding them three Jeroboams of Vendage Tardive Pinot Gris from the Rangen that makes people stick to each other at the liver.
5pm: Dominiek Bumbag plays a 20 minute live set on the hammond organ during which he consumes an entire bottle of 1965 Clynelish in the first ten minutes…
5.10pm: …Serge Valentin joins him for a piano solo on ‘Hallelujah’ and gets started on a bottle of 1972 Rare Malts Brora.
7pm: Open cellar evening at Beert Giro’s ‘Ardbeg Lounge’.
7.02pm: Open cellar evening at Beert Giro’s ‘Ardbeg Lounge’ closes.
9pm: People take turns to tell Patrick that it’s not time to start dancing yet.
10pm: Dirk Vantaliban appears in full camoflage after three hours of unexplained absence.
11pm: Back to the chicken place…
11.05pm: Thrown out of the chicken place, back to Hotel Giro…
12pm: Scottish people take over hotel, total fuck storm ensues.
9am: Everyone departs vowing never to return.
9.30am: Surviving members of Lindores Whisky Society begin planning Lindores Whiskyfest 2016.