The Whisky Exchange has cancelled the 2020 instalment of its annual Whisky Show – which was to have been held in London in October – because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the retailer is replacing the three-day event with “a week-long whisky extravaganza” under the banner Virtual Whisky Show 2020.

In  statement explaining the decision, the Whisky Exchange said: “The team at The Whisky Exchange has been fighting to make the 12th year of the Whisky Show happen during an incredibly daunting time in the world.

“From relentlessly researching into PPE to cutting back certain aspects of the show to create the most secure environment possible, we have exhausted all avenues in bringing together the show safely for 2020.”

It added that the decision to cancel the show, which would have been at Old Billingsgate from October 2-4, was taken “with great sadness”.

The virtual event will be hosted by award-winning drinks writer Dave Broom backed by “the largest tasting line-up of any virtual show and the opportunity to meet ‘face to face’ with some of the world’s top distillers and industry legends”.

There will be over 70 talks ranging from “the introductory to the geeky”.

A selection of more than 30 Perfect Measure tasting packs will be available for purchase, so that whisky enthusiasts can taste alongside the experts from home.

The Whisky Exchange co-founder Sukhinder Singh said: “With the possibilities afforded by today’s technology, alongside the incredible success of our recent virtual tastings, we are delighted to have the resources to bring our biggest show online and to an even wider global audience.

“Our team has pulled together a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience sure to delight our customers throughout the world.”

Tickets for the virtual show are on sale on the Whisky Show website for £20.

Refunds are available to those who had already purchased tickets for the physical event.