Robbie's Drams' whisky festival in Ayr took place last weekend. A great not-so-wee festival these days. 27 whisky companies taking part, 2 masterclasses: Duncan Macrae of Diageo showcasing the company's Talisker and Caol Ila and trying to persuade then maltheads that unaged malt is a good thing and James McTaggart from Isle of Arran talking about the trials and tribulations of managing a distillery in 2011, 600 people in Ayr Town Hall and a PA system which the hallkeeper didn't know how to operate.
Initially, I attempted to address the throng by shouting. My voice must have carried at least 10 feet from the stage before it was overwhelmed by the raucous hubbub. Graeme from Robbie's Drams was a saviour. He knew how to get the amps up.
It was a great day and I met many people whom I only see at this event every year. One of these days, I will stay over in Ayr drink instead of spitting out.
Robin Russell (the owner of Robbie's Drams) has announced a "Best in Show" whisky for the past three years and this year has had created a large silver quaich on a rosewood stand as the trophy for the winner selected by the votes of those attending. Previous winners have been Glenfarclas 21, Deanston 12 and Glenfarclas 21, but the 2011 winner of the Robbie's Drams Quaich Challenge was Tomintoul 21. This year, he has announced a second place - Hazelburn Sauternes Wood Finish and a third place - Glenfarclas 40.
The www.whiskytrailbars.com website has undergone a makeover - thanks to Drew Nicolson. He has taught me how to carry out html updates and ftp changes, but redesign is beyond me - at the moment.
My daughter participated in Hillfoots Music for Youth's annual year end concert last night in Tillicoultry and she learnt that she has passed her Grade 2 Trumpet exam. She is getting better, which reminds me, I must oil her trumpet's valves!