Whisky, bubbles, cocktails – what more could you want from an evening?
Following the immense success of the 2016 event, The 2017 Bulles, Whisky & Cie offering held at Hôtel Le Concorde in Quebec City on February 2nd and 3rd simply had to deliver.
With the number of tickets sold and high expectations from returning visitors, the pressure was on.
The organisers need not have worried. The venue was practically sold out on both nights, and with good reason.
Whisky, once seen as somewhat of an ‘old man’s drink’, has gone through a renaissance of sorts over the last few years. Judging by the age range at the event on Friday evening, it’s clear that today the water of life is being enjoyed by young and old alike.
In addition to whiskies from all corners on show, there was also a decent selection of Quebec-distilled gins and vodkas available to sample.
Some of these products, along with a strangely tasty maple syrup aged six months in bourbon barrels, are slated to hit the shelves before the year is out. It will be interesting to see how the maple syrup fares, and perhaps more importantly, who the target audience is for it.
There was a bountiful choice of cocktails on offer, a great idea to freshen up the palate after imbibing a selection of quality whiskies.
In addition to the fine scotches, Irish whiskies, American & Tennessee whiskeys, and Canadian Ryes, for the more adventurous there were single malts from India, France, and Japan to experience.
Special mention must go to Collingwood whisky. Realtively new on the market, it is a decent drop but unfortunately, for the curious drinkers among us, is not yet widely available in Quebec. It was first introduced to the province in September 2016. Note to the SAQ and the distillers – please make this more attainable here as there is a market for this type of whisky. Easy to drink, and not too strong on the palate, it would give many American whiskies a run for their money.
For those wishing to learn more about various whiskies, spirits, and sparkling wines, there were no fewer than nine master classes given by experts that covered:
Ardbeg & Glenmorangie, Quebec spirits (gins, vodkas, whiskies), Collingwood, Woodford Reserve, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniels Single Barrel, Bourbons, Sparkling wines, The Glenlivet, and Irish whiskeys.
These informative presentations were delivered to standing-room only audiences on each occasion.
The presentations provided a welcome break from the noise of the main event hall.
It was difficult at times to talk to the people around you due to the noise coming from the DJ booth.
When savouring an excellent Glenmorangie 18-year old single malt, deafening, thumping bass beats are simply not needed.
There were nearly 200 different products to choose from (who says too much choice is a good thing), from around 25 suppliers.
As far as value for money and product offerings go, this event is right up there.
Overall, bearing in mind who Bulles, Whisky & Cie is really aimed at, it could only be described as a rip-roaring success.
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