The end of another busy year is upon us and my travels for 2018 have come to an end. The last of my market visits take me to the UK and The Netherlands. At the start of November, I made my way to London where I met up with our distributors Paragon Brands to spread the word of Walsh Whiskey Distillery. We started off the week hitting up the amazing bars of London, from Irish pubs to speakeasys. The next day kicked off with a staff training, my favourite way to start the day! We headed to The Sun Tavern and the staff were all extremely engaging and interested in both of our brands, The Irishman and Writers’ Tears – the most popular of the day was The Irishman Single Malt.
That evening we made our way to Nuala bar for a cocktail night. During the evening customers could order from the special menu feature. We also reserved a snug for the night so customers could join us and we could taste them through our range of whiskeys, the night was a great success.
The next morning, I made my way north to meet the rest of the Paragon Brands team in Manchester. First on the list was to hold a masterclass with wholesalers Hammonds. From there it was on to Trof Bar where I held another masterclass for some of the bartenders of Manchester. I brought along a bottle of The Irishman Caribbean Cask Finish to share with the bartenders, which went down a treat!
The last day of the UK trip was spent visiting bars and wholesalers around Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. It was a mix of holding staff trainings and educating potential customers on our range – a busy day to say the least! I finished off paying visit to a few cocktail bars around Manchester City and it was off to bed for me, as I had to catch an early morning flight to Amsterdam the following morning.
Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities, and it was my second time to visit it this year. First on my list was to grab a cone of curry chips, and then it was back to business! I met with our distributors, the Disaronno team and we made our way to Rotterdam, where I held a masterclass for some of the bartenders in the city. I had the full range of The Irishman and Writers’ Tears with me so the masterclass took a little while to get through – the bartenders didn’t seem to mind though!
The following morning, we were headed to Eindhoven for another whiskey masterclass. This one was held in a fantastic off-license called Stigros. A beautiful store with a huge selection of spirits and the collection of whiskies was mind boggling! Stigros has a whisky club they hold once a month and I was lucky enough to be their first completely Irish whiskey tasting! We welcomed sixty guests and it was a brilliant night enjoyed by all.
After a busy week of trade visits, staff trainings and masterclasses It was time for Whiskey Live: The Hague. Three full days packed with amazing whiskey tastings, masterclasses and over 6,000 people. I had three masterclasses held over these three days. Saturday was, of course, the busiest day and my voice was beginning to disappear by the end of the weekend. The joys of being a Brand Ambassador! The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Marsala Cask Finish and The Irishman 17-Year-Old Single Malt were the most popular whiskeys of the show and we sold out of them completely.
Whiskey Live: The Hague brought me to the end of my travels this side of Christmas and I’m looking forward to a few weeks of keeping my feet on Irish soil! Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.
Stuart Caffrey, from Drogheda, is a Brand Ambassador for Walsh Whiskey Distillery. Stuart’s background in the drinks and his previous knowledge of the Irish Whiskey category give him an excellent foundation for travelling the world educating trade and consumers on all things Irish whiskey and Walsh Whiskey related.