When you take the ferry from Newcastle, England across the North Sea to the Netherlands, you disembark in IJmuiden.
IJmuiden is a small harbour city, on the westside of Amsterdam.
It's (Dutch) fame derives from the big steel factory, now owned bij Tata. The steel factory can be seen from far away.
IJmuiden also has a yearly Whisky and Rum festival, located directly near the sea.
The festival is organised by 'Slijterij en Wijnhuis Zeewijck'.
Here you can watch the videoreport we made.
A few facts make this festival different to other festivals.
First there's the strong accent on rum. During this festival the Dutch Rum Awards are presented.
Secondly the festival has a few distinguished guests, namely the Cuban Ambassador to the Kingdom of the
Netherlands Ms. Zelmys María Domínguez Cortina, the Mayor of Velsen (the municipality that includes IJmuiden)mr Franc Weerwind who is accompanied by the deputy mayor Arjen Verkaik.
Great thing is that they stayed at the festival after the official part and took time the visit several stalls and brands
(Brand toolkit of The Macallan)
During this festival you can taste different kind of rum and whisky, but there a nice variety of food as well. Dutch law sadly prohibits the sale of alcohol in bottles but fortunately you can spend your money on other stuff. For example you will find the people of Verspuy Interieur, who sell some nice whisky related gadgets, like the whiskychair (as seen in the video).
There's whisky writer Hans Offringa with his wife Becky, with his wide range of books, that he is happy to sign for you. Or a nice (cuban) cigar you can smoke on the adjacent terrace.
The festival takes place on the top floor of the Holiday in. So after the afternoon session you can take a long walk on the beach and if you visit the evening session you can take the elevator straight to your room.
Check out the website for next year's edition of the festival (11th October), it's worth a visit.