Book it now: Monte Carlo Whisky Festival 2016
by Zoe Dickens
The Monte Carlo Whisky Festival will return to Monaco this autumn to celebrate all things Scotch at some of the principality’s most exclusive locations. Hosted by La Maison d’Ecosse, the organisation founded by Anita di Sotto to promote cultural exchange between Scotland and Monaco, the festival promises three days of tastings, talks and celebrations all centred around Scotland’s finest export.
Kicking off on November 3 with the Monte Carlo Whisky Conference at the Oceanographic Museum, the event will be opened by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who is the honorary president of the Monte Carlo Whisky Society and Keeper of the Quiach. A panel of experts from Scotland's best whisky distilleries, including Charles Maclean of the Monte Carlo Whisky Society, Dr Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie, Dr Sam Simmons of The Balvenie and Ronnie Cox of The Glenrothes, will offer whisky master classes as well as debating the merits of investing in and collecting whisky or buying it simply to drink and enjoy.
The conference will also feature an auction of ten bottles of Glenrothes’ The Dow’s 24-year-old Rare Single Cask from the Grimaldi Collection with the proceeds from two of the bottles to be donated to the Prince Albert Foundation and a yet to be confirmed Scottish charity.
Throughout the festival a tasting room will be open at the Hotel Metropole - one of the best hotels in Monaco - where visitors can meet experts, attend master classes, discover great whisky food pairings and attend the daily Whisky and Popcorn cinema which will be showing themed classics including The Angel’s Share, Rob Roy and Whisky Galore.
The highlight of the whisky festival, however, is always the St. Andrews Gala Banquet which this year will be held at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Chefs Christian Garcia from the Prince’s Palace and David Graham of Lews Castle have designed 2016’s five-course menu of fine Scottish cuisine and each course has been paired with one of Glenrothes exceptional whiskies. Entertainment will come from traditional Ceilidh band Whisky Kiss while Scottish MP Alex Salmond will be on hand to address the haggis.
The Monte Carlo Whisky Festival takes place from November 2-6, 2016 with prices ranging from €140 - €8,000. Visit mcwhiskyfestival.com for tickets and information.