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Are you curious about the origins of Whisky's natural flavour?

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Are you legally old enough
(and sufficiently curious)
to enjoy terroir-driven whisky?

Some 18,000 curious drinkers descended on the elegant, glass-walled La Grande Halle de la Villette for this year’s edition of Whisky Live Paris. At times it felt as though we must have spoken to every one of them.

The vaulted, airy chamber of La Grande Halle hummed with bustle and interest and enthusiasm; the air rent as much with the chatter of educated palates as it was with the intertwining aromas of food stall and unstoppered whisky bottle.

 

This was our second appearance at the show after last year’s debut. Having been overwhelmed by the reaction to our Single Farm Origins, our Cuvée, our Organic and especially our Biodynamic whiskies last year we imagined this year would be a quieter, milder affair. The difficult second album rather than the new kids on the block.

If anything, the opposite was the case. Right from the starting gun we were swamped with whisky lovers keen to delve into our barley-forward, terroir-driven philosophies. As well as Single Farm Origins to compare and contrast, and the Cuvée revelling in the whole, greater than the sum of its parts, we had our full Arcadian Farm Origin deck, including new Heritage: Hunter and our first two Peated Single Farms.

More than any other show, Paris is a place where drinkers are truly curious to uncover everything that a distillery has to tell them. We had some ten Waterford Whiskies open to taste, and there were few drinkers who didn’t want to try each one. (Sipping in moderation of course — spittoon culture is wonderfully strong in France).

Perhaps it is the gastronomic element of these whiskies, focussed as they are on the ingredients, the terroirs, the agriculture, that appeals to the French psyche, where reverence for land and produce reaches so dizzying a zenith. Whatever the answer may be, it was once again a true joy to pour for the whisky lovers of Whisky Live Paris. The conversation flowed as freely as the drams and the whole team left, exhausted from three full-throttle days, but with minds broadened and souls filled.

Always a pleasure Paris; we’ll see you again next year.

EDITORIAL