Jan 14, 2015
(News Release) VICTORIA — As the world converges on Victoria to celebrate everything Whisky, the Victoria Whisky Festival is celebrating 10 years of appreciating the world’s best drams. Since its inception the Festival has more than doubled the number of whiskies and the number of countries represented at the Festival. It is a reflection of the variety and number of whiskies that are being produced worldwide – and the international interest in them.
This year the Victoria Whisky Festival will showcase over 250 whiskies made in 50 distilleries from nine countries. For the first time, France has joined the lineup which also includes Scotland, Ireland, England, Canada, United States, Japan, Taiwan and India.
Since its inception, proceeds from the Victoria Whisky Festival have supported a variety of charitable initiatives. By the end of the tenth year the Victoria Whisky Festival will have donated over $200,000 to organizations including the T.L.C. Fund For Kids and Victoria Crime Stoppers.
Growth in the Festival’s events and the number of whiskies present is representative of the growth of whisky producers and appreciators around the world. The first year the Festival showcased 100 whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, United States and Canada. A tasting event was held Friday evening and four Masterclasses were held on Saturday followed by a grand tasting. The number of Master classes jumped from 4 Masterclasses to 15 in the second year. The Festival has grown to include 36 Master classes, plus eight Grand Tastings on Thursday and Friday, and concludes with VIP and consumer tastings on Saturday evening.
“Interest has grown immensely in whisky and in the distilleries that make them,” says Lawrence Graham, President, Victoria Whisky Festival. “People are interested in the details of how the spirit is made and where it comes from. More and more people are coming with their notebooks and asking questions about influences on the whisky. People are showing a much more serious interest than ever before and it’s part of what makes the Festival so popular with distillers from around the world.”
The 2015 Festival features more women presenters than any previous Festival. Six women will present grand tastings and masterclasses covering a broad spectrum of the whisky world. Presenters include Annabel Meikle, global ambassador for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society; Johanne McInnes, Canada’s “Whisky Lassie”; Georgie Bell, global ambassador for Mortlach Distillery; Alwynne Gwilt, Miss Whisky Founder and Editor; Tish Harcus, Brand Ambassador for Canadian Club and Beth Havers, Canadian brand ambassador for Balvenie.
“We have seen the percentage of female attendees increase significantly in the last few years. Women are discovering that the immense range of whisky styles appeal to a range of tastes. And women aren’t afraid to give them a try,” says Graham.
This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the Canadian Whisky Awards which celebrates the best in Canadian Whisky produced across the country. Distillers will come together with whisky enthusiasts on January 15 to recognize the best in the Canadian industry. Winners will be posted at www.canadianwhisky.org.
The Victoria Whisky Festival is held annually at the Hotel Grand Pacific. The Festival hosts three days of events including Masterclasses, consumer tastings and a Grand Tasting. Presenters come from around the world. The proceeds of the Victoria Whisky Festival are donated to charitable organizations. Details at www.victoriawhiskyfestival.com.