Lithuania, with a population of less than four million, is a relatively small whiskey market. However, they sure enjoy a dram or two! I recently travelled to Lithuania for the Vilnius Whisky Festival and I was amazed at how much whiskey gripped such a small nation. My visit was the first Walsh Whiskey Distillery brand ambassador visit to Lithuania since we began working with our partners Globus last year and so there was lots to learn.
Vilnius is a beautiful city, full of amazing bars, and both the whiskey bar scene and mixology are thriving here.
The whiskey festival itself has grown each year and I was really impressed with the organisation – we expected seven hundred guests and received over one thousand. At the show, I worked alongside Glengoyne, a non-peated whiskey, and therefore our stand attracted many drinkers who like to sample the lighter and fruitier drams. However, I also welcomed many people who wanted to learn more about the Irish whiskey industry and showed a real interest in the Irish whiskey renaissance occurring at presence. I was one of two Irish whiskey ambassadors in attendance and the level of interest in Irish whiskey was amazing. Consumers wanted to know all about the innovations coming out of Ireland and are excited for what’s to come – as are we all!
The show itself was extremely intimate and regardless of a brand’s size or history, every brand was granted the same amount of space and it made the show much more about the liquid and less about the branding, which consumers really engaged with. As always, our whiskeys received a fantastic welcome. It was a great market visit with lots of potential. Until next year!