Whisky Show 2016: Taste Your Way Through the Spirit! | Budapest Local Whisky Show 2016: Taste Your Way Through the Spirit! | Budapest Local

Whisky Show 2016: Taste Your Way Through the Spirit!

For many Budapest revelers, an evening out now often revolves around whisky. They might head to cozy Scottish pub Caledonia, say, for a dram of the Glenlivet alongside sausage & mash, or to the posh Boutiq Bar for one of the stellar Old Fashioneds made with the unseemly combination of coconut, celery and Japanese Nikka.

A spike in interest for the brown liquid can be observed around the globe but locally one couple is undoubtedly driving this newfound curiosity. Katalin Szatmári and Zsolt Szigeti, owners of Whiskynet Kft., and Dávid Kovács, chairman of the Hungarian Whisky Club, guided by a deep passion for Scotland and its native spirit, are the hit-makers behind Whisky Show Budapest. Now in its sixth year (October 28 and 29 at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest), it’s an elegant and expansive showcase of whiskies from Scotland, Japan, Canada, Ireland, Hungary and the United States.


Photo: Whisky Show

Of course wandering the ballroom and sampling different whiskies all day is attractive to both spirits geeks and budding aficionados alike. Only after sipping a Chicago-made bourbon from Koval followed by a 15-year-old Benromach from Scotland’s Speyside region and the Taiwanese single malt Kavalan, for example, is it possible to understand the nuances that distinguish these complex whiskies from each other firsthand. This attractive union of the educational and the sensorial is especially heightened on the first day of the show, which is intended to draw in a trade audience. Those professionals working in the likes of bars, restaurants and hotels will relish the lectures and tastings of in-depth master classes, as well as a cocktail competition in which imaginative bartenders underscore the versatility of whisky in their drinks.

whisky show 2016 budapest

Photo: Whisky Show

Whisky Show Budapest is only one of the platforms Szatmári and Szigeti engage to champion the intricacies of whisky. Hungary’s liquor distribution system is rather limiting and so, when they realized how few selections customers could actually purchase, the couple launched WhiskyNet.hu in 2007. Suddenly, a broad range of whiskies—at reasonable prices—were available. As imbibers became more familiar with and intrigued by terms like peat and single grain, this growing demand translated to WhiskyShop, a petite store close to retail-laden Váci Street filled with quality bottles. Later this fall, it will move into a larger space up the street, adjoining a commodious bi-level bar where naturally a range of whiskies will be the star of the menu.

whisky show 2016 budapest

Photo: Whisky Show

Even a rudimentary, percolating knowledge of the spirit is reason alone to pay a visit to the Whisky Show. But if the palate should tire of drinking it, there is also plenty of rum and Cognac and, for the first time, gin to savor. Try a Gin & Tonic on the terrace devoted to the spirit. Heady and rife with botanicals, it’s on the cusp of making as big a splash as whisky.

Download our Free Budapest Guides to learn how you can make the most of your trip.

About the author: A native New Yorker, Alia Akkam is a food, drink, travel and design writer now living in Budapest.

(Visited 659 time, 1 visit today)

Related Stories

Leave a Comment

Start planning your trip with our free Budapest guides. Get instant access