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Limburg Whisky Fair 2015


Still the best?




Limburg started for me on Friday evening with a few friends getting together as we usually do. The group numbered around 12-14 people and included fellow Malt Maniac Oliver Klimek (sadly no others were in town this year) plus some true maltheads like Steffen Bräuner, Lars, Alan Robinson, CJ, Florian and a good few others including an old friend from about 20 years ago in the UK with whom I recently re-established contact.

This Friday meet-up over dinner is something of a Limburg tradition for most of this group and again, as usual it wasn't long before a few bottles appeared on the table and some fine drams started flowing once the steaks were duly dealt with. In this respect we're talking my old Bowmore 'screen print' 10y, a Bowmore 1988 Garden Festival commemmorative ceramic jug, Benromach Rare Malts, a 1967 G&M "Rare Old" Tomintoul plus more ..... (Photo of me & Steffen, thanks Steffen!)


After a gloriously sunny Friday, Saturday started with the pre-requisite long queues patiently waiting in the drizzly rain, I counted four different ones with a total of a good few hundred people, but as is normal with Limburg once the doors open everyone gets inside pretty quickly thanks to typically good old German efficiency? Right then, first stop restaurant and another personal Limburg tradition as I catch up on the previous year with another Malt Maniac; Charlie and also Alex of Adelphi. Aye, there's nowt like a good old chin wag with these great whisky characters. Then after a while the mood turns totally crazy with the arrival of Robin (Blackadder) wearing his even more than usual sparkling red hat and his son Michael. Is no comment or subject safe from his totally zany wit and repostes? Obviously not, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Welcome to Limburg 2015.



I'll not turn this into a Limburg 2015 diary but suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend for many different reasons. Obviously the whisky and more of that in a while, but also the opportunity to catch up with friends I don't see too often like Steffen, Oliver, Florian, Lars, Alan, CJ, fellow expat Roger and many, many more. The opportunity to catch up on old times with a dear old friend of 20 years ago was also a rare treat, just to chat over good drams and good food is a real highlight and another example of the benefits of events like this, whether Limburg or others.

Less of the blather, what about the whisky? Well, Limburg is indeed all about the whisky and in my title above I asked if I still think it's the best? Firstly I have to say I detected a few subtle changes this year; a room previously used for masterclasses was opened to the main fair allowing a little more room. Did this contribute to the feeling of the fair not being quite as packed as previous years or was it really a little quieter this year? Limburg is mainly about IBs and independent whisky businesses like the sellers of rarer bottlings by the dram as well as by the bottle. Sadly I missed a couple of the usual exhibitors this year like Wilson & Morgan. The independent sellers had their usual selections of rarer and older bottlings and of course I made the most of these, but sadly a couple of them just didn't seem to have a good selection of full bottles for sale like they have in previous years. Trust this to be in the year I was looking for something along those lines.

At just €10 (per full day) entry fee (including a tasting glass) it's still great value but don't expect a UK (or USA) style 'all you can try' event. That fee just gets you into the event, after which you pay for any drams or bottles you'd like to buy or sample. As I've mentioned in the past this also allows for people to take along empty sample bottles to fill and try later at home in leisure and comfort.

Looking at the samples now on my desk from Limburg 2014 & 2015 this is borne out just by looking at what's sitting waiting for me; Cadenhead dumpy white label Dumbarton single grain 1959-84, another 1964 Dumbarton grain, a wonderul old Glenrothes 1972 cask strength, Millburn 1972, Linkwood 1969, an old 1980's OB Balblair, 1969 & 1971 Longmorns, a Talisker 1953 24y, a long-lost Glen Mhor, various Port Ellen, Banff, Inchgower and many, many more.

I was also happy to see Wolfburn represented this year by their German importer and I took the opportunity to get hold of a sample of their new make which I'm looking forward to comparing with the various other new makes I've tried.

Is it still the best? Well, I have to say I still prefer this type of whisky fair to the more common one where more standard corporates and OBs are represented by their marketing departments showing 'what's new' as opposed to the 'what's old' concept of Limburg so yes, for me Limburg is still the best whisky fair for my personal taste, but then I am a self-declared Old Luddite!






Limburg Whisky Fair 2015


Photographing the fountain again


Limburg (whisky Fair) 2015 is less than two weeks away and it's time once again to start preparing for my annual pilgrimmage to the whisky fair mecca that is Limburg. It will soon be time to meet old friends, new ones and of course, probably photograph the old town and fountain yet again.

As usual I'll be travelling on the Thursday before the fair which gives me plenty of time to wander around town doing all my touristy bits before the crowds arrive for the fair on Saturday. As for the travelling; as much as I enjoy letting the train take the strain, especially those first class 'quiet' compartments where interferences from things like mobile phones are banned, I'll be driving again which will allow me a more liberal approach to the amount I can comfortably carry.

Carrying coals to Newcastle? I'm feeling a bit like this at the moment as I plan not only my itinerary but also just what to take along. No, not just my suitcase for 4-5 days and my camera kit, but what about a few samples for an old friend who recently re-established contact after almost 20 years when he 'found' me here on the interwebby thingy. Then of course a few of us get together for a 'welcome' dinner on Friday evening which always involves a liquid content. For the second year running I'm also hosting a little very informal get together or meet-up at the fair on Sunday. All of which means a couple of bottles are sure to be accompanying me.

So, should you see a strange looking eccentric wandering around town, camera in hand, do say 'Hi' as you never know, it could be me. If not, then you'll be guaranteed to make some new friends anyway.

Being a self-proclaimed Old Luddite I don't join the modern craze of "here I am, look at this coffee & cake / tea / beer / whisky" mobile updates whilst I'm travelling, but if I think of anything useful to say before I go I'll add it here. Then, of course, upon my return I'll let you know how it was along with the obligatory photos of fair, whisky, old town and almost certainly that fountain.






A selection of previous Dram-atics highlights


  The Liquid




Class of 64-65



Elementary my dear Sukhinder

Fab Fo(u)rties

Drams at Dawn

Prohibition Three Ways




  Festivals & Events

Limburg 2015

An annual Pilgrimmage

Limburg Crooks & Nannies

Limburg - Whet Dreams


April 2015

A date for your diary


Autumn 2013 Speyside










  Getting About

St. Magdalene / Linlithgow

Islay Revisited




  The Maniacs

Motor Maniac meets Malt Maniac

Anoraks Bottles & Castle

Nosing New Make

Blend of Maniacs



MMA 2014 Unplugged

MMA 2013 Unplugged

MMA 2011 Winners





A brace of luxury

Debussy plays Pitaud





Other major features  

May 2013

Duelling Drams - Man vs Clipper  

April 2013

100 points - Perfect Percy, Eggs-otic Isles Egg & Mug, Sixy bunny  

March 2013

International Whisky Day - Raise a Glass & Raise Awareness  

February 2013

A Horse, A Bow & a Dear  

Autumn 2012

The Olympkins, Getting old and Grainy  

May-Jun 2012

Dalmore Constellation, Independence?  

Mar-Apr 2012

Investment grade madness, Glenglassaugh, 5th IWD, 1000th Review, April Fool, Going dotty, age verification  

Feb. 2012

It's a rum old do, Growing old gracefully, Four Imperial sisters  

Jan. 2012

Onwards & Upwards, Canadian Whisky Awards  

Dec. 2011

HP 70's Orcadians  

Sept-Nov 2011

Malt Maniacs Awards 2011 - A weekend in the life of a Postmaster General  

June-Aug 2011

Bits Bytes & Drams, Glen Garioch 1994, Angela D'Orazio - Mackmyra, Trinity of Two Earls

May 2011

Don't bug me with ads, A dram fine evening

April 2011

Cry me a River, Golden Oldies, The Shackleton Legacy, Two Weddings and a Whisky

March 2011

Masters of Photography, Memory and the Middle Cut, Sampling again, Dave Stirk 5, Choosing choice Choices

Feb. 2011

Festival time again, Spam Galore!, Drams & Trams

Jan. 2011

Lookback at 2010, New Job? Three Thirties, ToC, Overdosing on sherry casks

Dec. 2010

December's Advent-urous drams, Nant Distillery, The road to Certification


Nov. 2010

Journey to end of Scotverse, Wick, Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Homecoming, Tweetup, Chilling with Cooley  

Oct. 2010

The John Walker, Sampling with Master of Malts, Changing jobs, Whisky Round Table  

Sept. 2010

Playing Chinese whispers, Oktoberfest, SMWS Spirit Cellar, 500,000  

August 2010

Elementary my dear Islay, Handbags at dawn, Dram-arkable 500, Cheapo Challenge, Ah Dooagh, 1 from 3 left  

July 2010

Age matters. A series of whisky reviews concentrating upon 'Age'  

June 2010

Jules Rimet, pickles & crisps. Mon coeur, mon amour oh mon sherry. A taste of the great outdoors.  

May 2010

The highly-acclaimed and record-breaking "Desert Island Drams"  

April 2010

My peat's bigger than your peat, A foursome with a famous Scottish bird  

March 2010

Sample Mania tasting notes, The Good, the Bad & The Loch Dh-Ugly, A return to sanity, The Choice of Managers  

Jan-Feb 2010

Keep taking the medicine, It's Festival time, Maker's Mark, Sleeveless in Munich  

Dec. 2009

All power to bean-counters, protecting Scotch, seasonal drams, Definitive Xmas Drams, 2009 Whisky Awards  

Nov. 2009

How it all started, Bonfire night, Autumnal musings, EU Tax & Duty, What's in a (whisky) name?  









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