Cheese, Candles, Stroopwafels & the first Dutch place with city rights.
That's all I basically know about Gouda. Next to the fact I grew up near Gouda and am currently living in Gouda.
What I did not know, is that there's a whiskyfestival in Gouda. So when I was able to score tickets, I had to check it out!
Getting lost in a small place
When I spotted this festival, I contacted some of my whisky loving friends to see if they wanted to join me in going to this festival. My father responded. So it would be a father/son thing!
Looking forward I bought the tickets at wijnhandel Van Welie.
The ticket price was € 49,50 a piece. This included entry, snacks in the form of salmon on toast and paté, a bottle of water and 10 tokens to spend on the festival. In the instructions going towards the festival, we were kindly requested to leave our tasting glass at the location after the event.
On the day itself we joined a group of whisky fans at the Stadhuis in the middle of Gouda. This is Gouda's ancient city hall, with a very large history. The festival itself was divided over serveral spaces in the city hall, making me search for certain stands and whiskies and getting lost in a very small place real quick (No, I did not have a dram yet.), dragging my father with me.
How and where to start?
I knew that @Confessionsofawhiskyfreak was working this night at this festival, in his role as brand ambassador for Spirits Services. And I knew he had some whiskies I had to try. But I was lost and could not find the room his stand was in. So My father and me started in a smaller room after climbing some very old stone stairs. There we started the night with our first dram: Lochlea "Our Barley". More people were climbing the stairs and the room became a bit warm. We had to find a cooler and calmer space. Passing Monnikdranken on the way out, we decided to return to that stand later.
After asking where we could find some of the stand, we climbed down some old stone stairs, basically bringin us up to streetlevel. There we found the stand of Spirits Services. And I decided to try the Roger's Vintage Selection Aultmore. This dram killed my father . Overlooking the fact that I actually enjoy single cask, cask strenght whisky, I did not realise I made my father drink a whisky of 63,5% vol.
Running a bit red, I decided to ease into some 'more accessible " drams like an Edradour 10yo , an Old Pulteney 12yo and a GlenTurret 15yo.
Discovering some stuff
But I wanted to try some things I never had before.
So after running into the stand of van Wees/BEEK, I spotted an Arran 10yo and a bottle from the distillerie across the road: Lagg.
I decided to take a dram of both and play with the contrast while sharing them with my dad. Discussing this experiment, we came to talk with the stand holder Jan Beek, who poured me a whisky that I found to be insane. Not going into details, (Spoiler, I ordered immediately after the event and will review it on this site.) it was something I had to share. So I got some extratokens (€ 2,50 a piece with a minimum of 5 tokens), bought another dram and rushed down some old steps to give it to Robbert (Earlier introduced as Confessionsofawhiskyfreak.)
The specials arrived
After handing the dram over to Robbert, I decided i wanted to try something I was aiming for all evening: The Dramfool Bruichladdich 2010 11yo Old Rivesaltes Barrique. This is where I was knocked over for the third time this evening (Starting with a Mytical beast somewhere after the Aultmore and before the Old Pulteney). What a dram! And just when I thought that whisky was my highlight of the evening, I had the Roger's Vintage Ben Nevis and had to stand still and truly enjoy this dram.
My father was browsin all the insane bottles on the stand, and Robbert poured him something that blew his mind, my mind and made my father leave. (He was about to miss his train otherwise. But this whisky was his highlight of the evening.)
A 30 year old Bruichladdich. What a treat, what a dram, what an ending of this night!
Conclusion on Whiskyfestival Gouda
Whiskyfestival Gouda is being held at one of the more special and beautiful locations I had a tasting at. With only 250 tickets available, you would suggest it to be a calm evening, but with some smaller rooms spread over the building, some got a bit heated and crowded.
I enjoyed some great whiskies, but at a price. This event was certainly not one of the cheapest. With ticket prices at €49,50 (including 10 tokens/coins to spend) and extra coins costing €2,50, the evening can become quite expensive at this event.
But I had fun, enjoyed some awesome drams, fell in love with a whisky again, had a laugh with Robbert and enjoyed an evening with my dad.
If it will be organised next year, I think I'll go again.