Next month, Glasgow will host the launch of The Whisky Show: Old & Rare, a new festival showcasing some of the most interesting vintage and hard-to-find whiskies in the world. The two-day event takes place at the Grand Central Hotel on February 18 and 19, with tickets £100 per day, including £50 towards tastings.
Amid the splendid surroundings of the hotel’s Queen Anne-style Grand Ballroom, visitors will get to mingle with top collectors, distillers and experts and taste more than 300 extraordinary whiskies. These range from vintage blends and sought-after silent distilleries (including Hanyu from Japan) to a 70-year-old Glenlivet and a Scotch distilled in 1894.
Sessions run from 11.30am to 6.30pm each day and include tasting tokens that can be put towards drams ranging in price from £2 to £300 for 10ml. For an additional fee, visitors will also be able to book tickets for tutored tastings and masterclasses with some of the industry’s biggest names, with topics ranging from in-depth profiles of particular distilleries to wide-ranging looks at historic techniques and styles – all accompanied by once-in-a-lifetime drams.
“Over the decades, the ideology, methods and ingredients of whisky production have all undergone changes. This festival celebrates the old-school, extinct styles of Scotch whisky,” say the event’s organiser The Whisky Exchange, which is also behind the annual Whisky Show in London. “Unlike other whisky festivals, Old & Rare’s exhibitors are exclusively independent companies and collectors from the world of whisky. This is a place where the focus is first and foremost on the people and the product.”
Visitors will also be able to take advantage of a pop-up Whisky Exchange shop on-site, which will offer a number of these rare whiskies for sale, as well as all-day access to the Grand Central Hotel Deli and a 20 per cent discount on rooms.