A group of social media people were invited to the Whisky Live Festival 2015 specifically to tweet. I was among those attending for this purpose.
It was lots and lots of fun this year.
Well, I was driving (and the next day was a work day) so I was very restricted in how much I could try. I did discover that many of the cocktail places would make me a virgin cocktail without comment. In the heatwave currently engulfing Gauteng those were most welcome.
On the non-alcoholic front, Valpre were again present. A bottle of water was once again part of the ticket price, but I did manage to get a second bottle simply for the asking. It was, as I said above, exceptionally hot and one needed the water for hydration. When one returned the empty bottles on the way out one was given a little packet of seeds embedded into a small Valpre bottle shape. Unfortunately they are simply labelled “herbs” and “flowers”, but might still be a fun project for children to grow. It is all part of Valpre’s recycling drive.
Right. One should never drink on an empty stomach. Dinner. Not bad for a main course at R50, but the dessert, also at R50 not such good value. I paired my dinner and my dessert with the Bain’s 5 year old grain blend which won the Best Grain Whisky in the world in 2013. That was pulled chicken and apple pie. The pulled chicken had a peanut sauce which was delicious. The apple pie crust was perfect and the pie was very, very pretty.
So, my favourite stands were those which engaged me in more than simply tasting their product (everyone lets you taste and some don’t even scan your tickets). Glenfiddich used videos to tell the history. I would have preferred a longer presentation at one of their screens rather than being forced to change screens each time, especially as I was asked what I thought at the end of each clip. The truth is that I didn’t think anything at all. I was simply being given some interesting information. It is also important that all the technology works. The table didn’t.
Black Bottle had a cage for photos. I couldn’t resist it.
Chivas Regal were offering lovely little boxed sets of branded coasters for people who tweeted with their hashtag. A no-brainer for those of us who were there for exactly that purpose. This is a really excellent marketing ploy. People remember less than 10% of what they are told, and more than 90% of what they do. Doing something to gain a small gift which will remind them of the product and their action is both clever and cost effective at a Whisky Festival.
Three Ships, a local whisky which had a 5 year old win the Best Blended Whisky in the world (regardless of age) in 2012, had a really fun app where we blended and bottled our own little miniature bottle which we got to take home. Once again, this is an excellent marketing gimmick and I loved it. In fact this was the highlight activity of the Whisky Live Festival for me.
Now for my usual little rant about companies that don’t do miniatures. You are losing out on a marketing opportunity to reach an ever-growing market – the “live alones”. Many people who live alone would occasionally like a drink, but they won’t buy a nip or more for various reasons (one of which might be that they are forbidden to have alcohol in their old age home or residence). Miniatures solve their problem, albeit more expensive to bottle, label and sell, costs of which are passed on to the consumer. Also young people often buy them to take them (unlawfully, of course) to places where the booze prices are a rip-off. I know I did when I was young. 🙂
Some of the big brand whiskies were featured in a little interactive quiz which identified our drinking style. Mine was “rich”. That was Bells. Very nice indeed. I have decided I enjoy Bells. Give the girl a Bells.
I ended my evening, as did many others, with a cup of coffee from Seattle Coffee Company. In return for our loaded cards we were given a can of Castle Lite Lime Flavoured Beer. In this heat I will actually try it reasonably soon.
All in all I had a great time and am looking forward to next year again.