Sunday, 7 October 2007

How to make a successful mini-festival...

Whisky in the Church, The Hague, September 2, 2007

To make a successful mini-whisky festival (or a maxi-tasting), take the following ingredients:
  • Competent and renowned whisky retailer: 1
  • Excellent independent bottlers: 14
  • Dynamic importers: 5
  • Exceptional bottles: about 50
  • Place: an old church dating back to the 13th century
  • Whisky passionates: about 50
  • Talented painter: 1
  • Passionate volunteers : a good handful.
Those are at least the ingredients used for the whisky event organised by the forum on September 2, 2007.

The place...

This event has been organized in the oldest church of The Hague (Netherlands): the Abdijkerk in Loosduinen.
The Abdijkerk (Abbey Church) in Loosduinen (now a part of The Hague) is the oldest monument of the town.
Build between 1238 and 1250 the church was the chapel of a cloister. The style of the church is typical for the transition period between Roman and Gothic. At least as far as the oldest part of the church, near the tower. The northern part of the building is typically Gothic. This part has been built later, during the second part of the 13th century.
The church has been entirely restored during the 1960's.

The church, still in activity is a protestant temple, and we just needed the ambulatory, kind of corridor leading to the cult area, as our event was planned to be small-scaled.

The guests

This event was organized in the framework of the annual meeting of the members of the forum (this is henceforth a tradition...) and an invitation was sent to several associations of well informed whisky lovers. Amongst others, a few Malt Maniacs were invited (but unfortunately schedule problems made it impossible for them to be present. The date coincided with their preparation of the Malt Maniac Awards. The menbers of the associated forum Cask Six were invited too, but none of them could manage to be present... Amongst the other clubs, web sites or associations which were invited and present, let's mention Lindores, The Dutch Connection, Les Passionné du Malt (Toulouse, France), the Club o. Mosellan des amateurs de whisky (Metz, France), Whiskycircus (Paris, France), Whisky News (Switzerland). Beside those single malt lovers, some personalities of the whisky world were present as well, like Robin Brilleman, whisky writer ( "Schotse Malt Whisky") and delegates of the specialized press in the Netherlands: Whisky Passion et Whisky etc...

Enthousiast reviews were published on their respective websites by the whisky lovers who assisted this nice whisky event. An article has been published in Whisky Passion as well.
Of course, this event was originally intended for the members of the forum associated to the site Most of the site editors who were present are also members of this forum. About twenty of them came to The Hague from Toulouse, Paris, Bâle, Genève, Brussels or Liège. Of course, they reviewed this event on the forum. To read their impressions, just have a look on the following pages of the forum :
Premières réactions à chaud, Les gosses à La Haye, Alors...., Compte-rendu d'après le live, et Photos.
As by now, the forum only exists in French. As soon as several people are interested by an English version of this forum, I'll set it up...

Paintings by Jos van den Berg

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