The time of the year has come again for numerous whisky events to happen together, one after another. Previously, we wrote about Whisky Live Singapore 2018, and now, allow us to remind you about Whisky Fair Takao 2018.
For those of you who had followed us since last year, you would know that Whisky Fair Takao started the previous year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. We had an enjoyable 2-days event last year, and we are heading back there again this year.
When is it happening?
Whisky Fair Takao 2018 is taking place on 1st and 2nd December 2018. The venue remains the same at 85 Sky Tower, but this year, the organiser has expanded on the fairgrounds. The fair will shift upwards to level 75 (it was held at level 74 last year), and a concurrent bartender fair will take over level 74 to showcase cocktails made by talented bartenders.
What can you expect?
The show this year is going to be bigger than ever. You can expect to see independent bottlers, whisky/spirits importers, retailers, private collectors and of course, the local distilleries, Nantou Winery and Kalavan Distillery. As for the whisky, you are going to have a tough time deciding what to drink as there will be a wide selection from official bottlings to independent bottlings of your favourite distilleries. There are also rare vintage bottles for you to try, such as Karuizawa, Port Ellen, Littlemill and more.
Similar to last year’s offering, Whisky Fair Takao 2018 is offering a range of masterclasses to every participant. One of the most notable masterclasses is the one hosted by Tsuyoshi Kitakaji-san of Shinanoya, Japan. It will showcase six different lost distilleries whiskies, of which one is a Hanyu. The whiskies are all high-aged and rare. The other two masterclasses that we are interested in are The Mash Tun Tokyo Anniversary Bottling hosted by Toru Suzuki-san and The Shizuoka Distillery hosted by Taiko Nakamura-san.
Tickets go on sale on 15 October 2018 at noon, Taiwan time (aka Singapore time), and do note that you will need to first purchase tickets to the Whisky Fair before you can buy tickets for the masterclasses. You can find more information on the other masterclasses here.
If you followed our blog, you probably would have seen our spoils from last year’s Whisky Fair Takao – a Littlemill 1988 bottle that only has 60 bottles worldwide. Bottled for Whisky Fair Takao, it was the creme of the crop for us. Similarly, there will be annual bottlings for 2018.
After the success last year, the organiser has decided to expand on the range of annual bottlings on offer. You can expect the following limited release bottles to be grabbed from the fair over the two days.
- The Whisky Agency Speyside Region 1976 41 Years Old, 46.6%, Sherry Butt – NTD $13,800
- Wemyss Malt Bowmore 1990 28 Years old, abv unknown, Hogshead – NTD $10,800
- Cadenhead Linkwood 1989 26 Years Old, 51.4%, Sherry Cask – NTD $8000
- Duncan Taylor Highland Park 2003 14 Years Old, abv unknown, Octave cask (2 similar bottles) – NTD $4000 each
It appears that the Speyside 1976 is worth taking a look, but we must admit that all five bottles are exciting. For us, we would be looking at the Speyside 1976 (of course!) and the 2 Highland Park in Octave casks. Interestingly, they also happened to be the highest and lowest in prices.
How does the Fair works?
For the uninitiated, the fair is not a free flow event. You pay a small amount to get into the show (NTD $450). In return, you can a branded whisky glass, a lanyard, dining vouchers for the hotel, and a miniature whisky sample. You will need to purchase “coupons” in exchange for the drams that you want to try.
The coupons will be in points form. Each point is worth NTD$50, and they come in both 1 point and 5 points. The drams will be priced in the points system, and you work out the maths on your own before paying for the drams.
They also allow you to bring your sample bottles to “tabao”, as there is no way to drink 30 drams in two days unless you are trying too hard. Therefore, go slow, enjoy and pack the most expensive whiskies that you want to savour back home!
Should you go to Whisky Fair Takao 2018?
If you have enough vacation days to spare, or you think you can fly in and out of Taiwan over the weekend, why not head over to take a look? More than a couple of us are going to Whisky Fair Takao 2018, so there will be a tiny “WhiskyGeeks contingent”. Given the amazing things that we had last year, it would be worth your time to go if you have a chance!