Uisge 2017 — Helsinki Whiskey Festival is back in February

To savor some of the best whiskies around Living in HEL will be visiting the Uisge festival on 10 to 11 February 2017 — just like last year, and many a year before that.


Traditionally, Uisge has been the “it” event for Finnish friends of all things whisky — Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, Rye, Japanese, Swedish, Finnish. But especially Single Malt lovers.

The atmosphere is always nice, and surprisingly non-commercial. And that’s saying a lot, when all the big brands are present. It’s not a big bash, more like a low key, very enjoyable event, a meeting of minds with a fantastic, laid-back atmosphere. Everybody’s here for one reason only – the love of Uisce Beatha.

A few whisk(e)y societies will also be present, including the Finnish Malt Whisky Society and the more elusive Friends of Irish Whiskey. If you’re looking to enjoy sampling superb whiskies later in the year, as well, both organize tastings, trips to distilleries and more — and will be looking for new members.


If you’re like us, do come early, come on Friday and bring along a friend. Also, a notepad to jot down your favorites is recommended, because this being Scandinavia, you wouldn’t be able to buy a bottle of your newest favorite even if you tried.

IMG_3433.JPGThe tastings also have a stellar reputation both taste-wise and information-wise. Enquire ahead at uisge2016(at)yahoo.com (mention you’re of age and want to have this information).

Tix are available here for 18€ per day. Smart money is on buying in advance, Uisge usually gets crowded so tickets may or may not be available at the door.

The price of the entry fee includes a custom-printed nosing glass and the sampling prices are more than reasonable, even for the rarest bottling. Ice water is complimentary, so you can clean your palate and glass in between sampling a drop of the pure.

Like we said last year, a night at Uisge is guaranteed to leave you smiling what with all the socializing, sampling and good-hearted stories — and the whiskey, of course.



Venue & event links


ps. From what we know, bottlings, specials and vintage editions,  favorites old & new will be available from at least the following:
Aberlour, Ailsa Bay, Arran, Auchentoshan, Balblair, the Balvenie, Blackadder, Bowmore, Buffalo Trace, Bunnahabhain, Bushmills, Chivas Regal, The Compass Box, Cragganmore, Douglas LaingHunter Laing, Edradour, Four Roses, Glen Moray, Glen Scotia, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Glengoyne, Glengyle, the Glenlivet, Hart Brothers, Helsinki Distilling Company, Highland Park, Jameson, Jura, Kilchoman, Knob Creek, Kyrö Distillery, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Loch Lomond, Maker’s Mark, MidletonMortlach, Old Pulteney, Redbreast, Sazerac, Springbank, Talisker, Teerenpeli, Tobermory, Tullamore Dew, Valamo Monastery DistilleryThe Whisky Agency, and more… Some high quality rums will also  be available.

For a more complete and likely more up-to-the-minute list, see the Viskisieppo blog.


Uisge 2016: The best of Helsinki Whiskey Festival

Uisge 2016 whiskey festival at vanha ylioppilastalo

As Rasmus told earlier this week, Uisge Whiskey Festival was held at Vanha Ylioppilastalo (old student house) in Helsinki this weekend. I made a list of the best things at Uisge 2016 – naturally from a Finnish point of view.

The Helsinki Distilling Company

The Helsinki Distillning Company Finnish whiskey at Uisge 2016

One of the newest distilleries in Finland that I am aware of, Helsinki Distilling company participated the Uisge festival for the first time. The whiskeys are still young and they actually had a 1 year old Prelude Single Malt available for tasting. I had a taste of it and to be honest it wasn’t too bad. Let’s see where they end up in the next ten years or so.

The Helsinki Distillning Company - Helsingfors Fiskehamns akvavit and Helsinki dry gin bottles

In the mean time you might want to try their Helsinki dry gin and Helsingfors Fiskehamns Akvavit and long drinks (ready made mix of gin and juice).

Betelgeuse Design handmade Whiskey Glasses

Betelgeuse Design whiskey glass at Uisge 2016 whisky festival

At the corner of a stand stood a young man promoting quite unique whiskey glasses he had designed. Matias Lehmusjärvi, a industrial design student, told us the story how he wanted to create a handmade glass and ended up collaborating with a Finnish glass factory Nuutajärvi. His whiskey glasses are all unique and made in patches of 50 glasses after which the glass mold needs to be renewed. In other words each patch is different and since the glassblowers manufacture all glasses one by one, no glass is exactly the same.

The glasses cost about 30-40 € a piece and should be available at his online store soon at www.betelgeusedesign.com

Valamo Monastery Distillery

Well there isn’t much to say about Valamo Monastery Distillery yet (since it was established 2014), but I did find it quite interesting to notice that a monastery had also caught up to the new distillery wave here in Finland too. According to Wikipedia, The annual capacity of the Valamo distillery will be 120 000 litres, and it will be the biggest distillery in Finland in the future. I have to keep this distillery in mind in the future.

Midleton Single Cask whiskey for IWY

Midleton Single Cask whiskey for IWY

Specially selected to celebrate 10 years of Friends of Irish Whisky (IWY, Irlantilaisen Whiskin Ystävät), Midleton was one of my favourite whiskies at the whisky Festival. It is available at Alko’s whiskey selections but with a limited availability. I heard that there are about 70-80 bottles left and the price for a bottle is a bit over 200 €. Nevertheless, I do think it’s worth it and would consider buying on if I had any extra at my bank account at the moment!


p.s. I would also recommend trying out Teerenpeli Distelliry’s whiskies if you’re in Finland.





Uisge — Helsinki Whiskey Festival


This weekend it’s again time for Uisge, the biggest whiskey (or whisky) event in Finland. I have been going there regularly for some years now. Excellent, low key event that gives you the chance to sample and savor the wonderful whiskies of the world over two days.

2Q==Held at the Vanha Ylioppilastalo (Old Student House), the main area is usually very crowded. Importers, distilleries and brands big and small will have a booth in the main hall. The prices are reasonable even for the rarest bottlings. There’s also always special tastings either revolving around a theme or a brand on both days.

Despite big brands being present there’s very little commercial about the event itself. It’s more a meeting of like minds, a place to sample, socialize and meet up. In fact, I’ve ended up joining a few whisk(e)y societies while at Uisge.

The price of the entry fee includes a custom-printed Glencairn Whiskey Glass so you can nose & sample the water of life in an optimal setting. Ice water is also complimentary so you can wash your palate. All in all, a night at Uisge is guaranteed to leave you smiling. Make sure you bring along a notepad to record your impressions and note down your favorites because, this being Scandinavia, you couldn’t buy a bottle to take with you even if you tried.

Tix are available at the door, but to guarantee entry I’d recommend buying in advance through Tiketti.

ps. Due to Finnish legislation, Uisge can’t actually promote the event or even have proper website, but somehow, it’s grown quite popular still. And for further info, you can always look them up on Facebook, under UISGE Viskifestivaalit.