Newcastle Whisky Festival

Last Friday morning with bags packed, a couple of whisky samples and whisky fudge I boarded the train to Newcastle.

With a book in front of me I sat and planned a little sample session and note taking of my Boutique-y Whisky Carsebridge sample, maybe an hour or so into my trip. Earphones in.. then came the message over the tannoy “blah, blah, DRY TRAIN, blah blah, NO ALCOHOL till after Newcastle!!”

Well my little bag of goodies wasn’t helping as the aroma of Paul John “Edited” and GlenDronach “batch 5” fudge teased me with their delicious aroma…the man opposite did say that had I shared my samples he wouldn’t have told anyone. Yet, the thought of being met at the station by BTP most definitely put paid to that plan. So I sat with The Angels’ Share by James Markert (good read) and let the miles slip by.

So I arrived in Newcastle. I’d been trying to recall how often I must have visited as a child, as I’m from Middlesbrough (smoggy – in case no one got that yet..) but having left the area at 10 years of age, a lot has changed.

Checked into the hotel. Changed rooms. Chilled, showered and off I went to the evening session.

So here I was, festival number three. Wristband on, glass, pipette, and tokens in hand I went in.

First of all I said hello to and dropped off some fudge with the ladies from Angel’s Share Glass – they had the GlenDronach and then later I handed the Paul John “Edited” to Sorren and Craig, seemed fitting πŸ™‚

I went and said hello to the wonderful Boutique-y Dave and had a very warm welcome from him. It was also nice meeting Joe from Twitter and Paul from Speyside Distillers. Then I went to see Colin Dunn (lovely funny man) and David from Spirit Scotland and the man who poured me my first festival dram in York, the delicious BenRinnes 23 year old. It was nice having a chat and a laugh, and making them laugh at my ever so well thought out blog “ILOVEWHISKY” well it says it all πŸ™‚

Said hello to the Paul John men and their wonderful array of whiskies and delivered the ugly duckling fudge that was in fact a swan with its slightly smoky finish.

It was also nice speaking to the lovely Gina as I escaped the older gentlemen admirers. Ed was lovely and thankfully a) not 30 years younger and b) not single.

So, I tried a few drams on my travels round, from Angels’ nectar (thanks Karen) very smooth and an easy drinker (the whisky) to the Quiet Man, also very smooth and although perhaps not for me, still a nice whisky. I had Talisker, Lagavulin, Paul John Bold, Peated, probably a #1906, some Mackmyra, TBWC, Aberlour A’bunadh and possibly (definitely) a couple more on my way in and out of the gathering. I also had some rather scrummy chicken curry and chips.

It was a lovely evening and then I headed back to my digs.

Day 2 was to come…

This was the Saturday session, big brekky time and off I went, with my luggage in tow. It was nice to pop back in and revisit some more whiskies, I had the lovely Caledonian from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, stopped by to say hello to Colin and David who thought I looked bright eyed and energised I then went off for one final dram as the place was absolutely packed.

So final delicious dram poured, fudge and business card handed over with a few remaining tokens and and all too brief farewell, I was gone.

But I shall return…

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