This was the first time we visited the Hielander Festival in Alkmaar. Shame on us, because this was already the forth edition of the festival.
Check out the video-report we made.
Only a month before we met Wullie MacMorland, owner of the Hielander Restaurant .
Even though his restaurant was closed at the time we visited, he very kindly showed us around.
We thought it would only be polite to visit the festival that was initiated by Wullie together with Ebbo Voorhout of the Grand Church in Alkmaar.
Most entry levels drams are free to try, using your complimentary Hieland 2014 Glencairn nosing glass, for others there's an extra fee.
Having visited several (...) festivals before, we are always looking for those hiddens gems at a festival. First one was a Mosstowie 1979, bottled by Dutch firm Van Wees, in their Ultimate Selection (already over 500 different bottlings!).
Another great dram was the Mannochmore 1984, bottled in 1997 by Gordon and MacPhails, you know that family owned business that has the most beautiful casks filled with great malt.
Another very nice dram we enjoyed is the Benromach Origins Batch no. 4, matured in Port pipes. Benromach seems to have found a nice balance between the wine and the whisky. If you don't believe us, try the latest Benromach Sassicaia finish.
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Sources: Malt Madness and Hielander