Peat heads and sherry bomb fanatics alike will converge on the Banff Centre for the Second Annual Banff Whisky Experience (BWE) Sept. 14 and 15.
Part tasting, part conference, part seminar series, the BWE offers whiskey lovers the opportunity to immerse themselves in malt culture over two days to learn, chat, network and, of course, taste the best the world has to offer.
Industry insiders and distillers will teach master classes while mountain-top tastings of the finest whisky blend gorgeous scenery and mountain adventure with swishing, swirling and nosing.
Founder (and well-known snowboarding bad-boy) Andrew Hardngham says his love of whiskey developed in the back-country as he’d take bottles with him on week-long treks in the Rockies.
“At first it was vodka and rum, but evolved into whiskey,” he says. “There’s just so much to explore with whiskey. I became obsessed.”
The obsession led him to combine his passions for the mountains and whiskey and launch the Banff Whiskey Experience last year with partner Josh Bauer. Bolstered by the success of the event, he decided to create an annual event.
“Last year was a great success,” he says. “We learned some things, got some feedback and have come back even stronger this year.”
Sixteen available masterclasses include Canadian Whiskey: The Greatest Story Never Told, The Art of Blending, We are Islay and many more Friday evening and Saturday. Saturday night is reserved for the grand tasting event during which more than 75 distilleries from around the world will be pouring nearly 400 different whiskies. One of the key highlights of this event is the cap on attendees.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable and no pressure,” says Hardingham. “With only 350 attendees, we can avoid line-ups and encourage conversation.”
While whiskey lovers are often loyal to single malt offerings, Hardingham invites attendees to dive into the hand-picked blends this year.
“What many people don’t realize is that almost every single malt is actually blended as well,” he says. “Blending gives you the option to go to any distillery in the world.”
In fact, there’s a masterclass during which attendees can create their own Johnny Walker blend from three different distilleries. Hardingham is also excited to introduce whiskey lovers to Canada’s offerings including B.C.’s Shelterpoint which is gaining worldwide acclaim for its seaside single malt.
There are still a few tickets available. Get yours here.