Limburg Whisky Festival 2024

Cask Trade

A gaggle of Cask Traders walked into one of the biggest whisky festivals in Europe on Saturday, tasting glasses at the ready for three days of complete immersion.

Sprawling across three rooms in the small German town of Limburg, about 80 kilometres from Frankfurt - The Whisky Fair - is where old and rare meets weird and wonderful. It is a non-Scottish pilgrimage for whisky aficionados from around the world.

For Cask Trade it was a chance to see what some of our casks had lovingly been turned into by independent bottlers - the passionate core of our industry and the end users for almost all casks on the market.

Caperdonich Festival Bottling

The festival bottling was a 27 year old Caperdonich bourbon barrel by Liquid Treasures. A cask from 1997, it produced only 163 bottles from the lost Speyside single malt distillery. The dram itself has a brilliant balance of lemon citrus, mint, and vanilla fudge sweetness on the nose. It is surprisingly soft and well rounded for 52.7% abv, with little in the way of sharp notes. The citrus freshness continues on the palate, developing into shortbread and salted caramel chocolate. It has a lovely oily mouthfeel that isn’t viscous, but more like single cream than full fat double.

Other highlights included The Whisky Cask’s bottling of a 31 year old Glen Keith Sherry cask, Alba Trail’s Bowmore 26 year old, and a 60 year old Cuban rum from The Whisky Agency.

Whisky Festival Spirit

Terraced across stalls like the hanging gardens of Babylon, the bottles displayed an abundance of creativity. Hardly a duplication in sight with an ever-growing display of labels and bottle styles.

It can appear an intense atmosphere at The Whisky Fair, it is an intensity born out of an unadulterated passion for a drink that not only brings friends together but creates them as well.

To understand why Limburg is so joyous for whisky fans you need to peer into the mind of one. It doesn’t just have one compartment labelled “distillery” - it is a library of years, abv’s, regions, cask types, cereals, equipment, and master distillers.  The joy of spotting a whisky that combines all your preferences and sharing it with likeminded people, is like taking someone to your favourite restaurant.

In this respect attendees are well fed at the fair, making it a marathon that requires stamina and a game plan. Choose the first few drams carefully and then watch the plan go out the window when you inevitably stumble across something that you simply must taste.

There is no doubt that The Whisky fair remains a complete joy for fans of the water of life. For us at Cask Trade it was huge fun meeting and tasting drams with our friends from across the industry.

See you next year Limburg.