Over 1,400 people descended on Oval Space for The London Whisky Weekender 2015 for a second year of East London whisky festivities.
Iconic venue Oval Space partnered with The Whisky Lounge to bring whisky to the people once more, with the annual London Whisky Weekender which ran from 11th – 12th April.
Guests enjoyed over 30,000 drams of whisky over the three weekend tasting sessions, discovering a world of international whiskies from American bourbons through to Japanese, Irish, Scotch and more.
Dan Sylvester, Oval Space Director and co-founder of the event comments: “The Whisky Weekender once again showed the unfailing appetite for whisky in London, with craft and artisan whisky in particular booming in popularity amongst the East London crowd. Oval Space brings together people of all ages for exciting festivals and events throughout the year and I look forward to seeing this event grow and grow, hot on the heels of the craft revolution.”
Eddie Ludlow of The Whisky Lounge also adds: “This was one of our best events in London yet. It was great to see so many new people heading to the festival, both male and female, which shows this category really is diversifying. Thank you to all of our excellent exhibitors which helped to make it such a standout weekend.”
This year saw a particular emphasis on craft distilleries, along with a programme of tastings, guest appearances from distillers, whisky cocktails, street food and music all weekend, making it the whisky event on the London calendar. The likes of New York Distilling, Few Spirits and Smooth Ambler showcased the latest trends in small-batch distilling with tastings and whisky cocktails, accompanied by a soundtrack curated by the Oval Space team.
Up on the roof terrace with views overlooking the iconic Bethnal Green gasholders Pull & Punch, a London street-food scene favourite, served up amazing pulled meat creations incorporating whisky into their slow-cooked recipes and offering whisky paired samples.
Whisky lovers of all ages gathered to vote for their Dram of the Day. The Ardbeg Kildaldon picked up the award on the Saturday, closely followed by Nikka Coffey and Talisker 57. Sunday saw a strong showing for other brands, with The Glenlivet Nadurra taking top spot, beating a rogue non-whisky entry Dry Fly Gin and Nikka from the Barrel in the second and third respectively.
Mirroring the recent gin revival where innovation is key, and the shift in cocktail culture towards down-to-earth bars and speakeasies, whisky is having a moment that the London Whisky Weekender perfectly captured. Covering the spectrum from legendary whiskies that have built a name for themselves through quality and reputation, through to the latest emerging brands at the forefront of distilling techniques, the festival brought whisky to London in a new and exciting way.