You can almost accurately read the foot traffic at whisky-tasting shows like the recent Whisky & Spirits Live Festival: the well-heeled captains of industry, who would have come straight from the office, usually target two or three stands. While there, they will knock themselves out asking a bunch of questions so the rest of us mere mortals struggle to get a look-in. Their female companions, usually dressed to the nines, will inevitably desert them to spend time in the gin corner.

The mere mortals, on the other hand, will go about tasting indiscriminately. Naturally, they make the biggest contribution to the racket in the premises, often drinking themselves to exhaustion. They get red in the face and invariably Uber home after the event. In short, women throng the gin stalls, silver-tongued executives opt for the Scotch corner, while the rest of us amble around sampling anything that is thrust our way. The bourbon stalls at the recent Whisky & Spirits Live Festival were relati...

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