Women and whiskey… you must be wondering what I mean? Well let me explain.
I was invited to a very special event last night hosted at The Soho Whisky Club an elegant members’ bar tucked above The Vintage House in the heart of London’s Soho. It has over 400 whiskies from around the world on offer, many of which are rare and no longer commercially available.
The night was an intimate whisky tasting for women lead by whisky expert and ‘spirit guide’, Zoe Toolan in the surrounds of the usually members-only club.
The tasting involved a brief introduction to whisky, followed by tasting six whiskies from a varied selection of single malt and blended whiskies, including: Chivas Regal 25; Ballantine’s 17; The Glenlivet 21; and Royal Salute 21.
The night’s theme was to embrace new research showing that women drink whisky and the host created nights, where whiskies are available to taste in an informal environment with other like-minded women.
At the beginning of the night we were welcomed in and greeted with beautiful canape’s – Carpaccio Beef, Beetroot and Feta and Smoked Salmon. My friend who came with me, Katherine, and I lined our stomach with a few of these tasters and made our way to our table. Whisky on an empty stomach was definitely a no no
The informal nature of the evening meant that we were on a table with two other girls, Fran and Katie, who joined us in our Whisky tasting experience. Fortunately we had picked our table well, as I noticed around the room there were a few ladies who knew a thing about Whisky (a subject I knew little about), as all of us were newbies to the world of Whisky – bar it being something we nicked from our parents drinks cabinets…
We started with a viewing of some adverts for Whisky, which clearly are aimed at men, to encourage us to think about Whisky marketing tactics. So far any woman who featured in these videos was either ridiculously sexy, male pleasing, creatures of the night or class A bitches. Zoe explained that many Whisky companies are missing this gap in the whisky market as up to a third of customers are women.
Next – the fun bit – the tasting!
First off – The Glass – Glencairn Glass – this little short and portley allows one to appreciate the colour of the whisky. Introduced in 2001 this little glass is now The Official Whisky Glass…
Whisky number 1: Chivas Regal 25 – soft, caramel on the eyes, a blend that was created in 1909 that boomed in New York pre prohibition. First Whisky down feeling like a pro – but yet to taste something different than just Whisky
Whisky number 2: Royal Salute 21 – Elegant, soft and quite exciting on the tongue – and this little beauty comes in a ruby flagon. I liked this one more than the first and started to notice the difference between the former and the latter. Not quite at the same standard as some of the ladies around the room who were picking up notes I was unaware were in whisky. The journey continues…
Whisky number 3: Long Morn 16 – Rich, warm and had an “umph” to it. As the tasting continued and the mood turned quite jovial and relaxed due to the ensuing tipsiness from the whisky – my note taking became minimal – therefore I apologise for 4,5,6
The next three whisky’s were paired with food – this little turn of events pricked my attention – as a huge fan of Cheese and Wine nights – a whisky night is quite a novel idea.
Whisky Number 4: Ballantine’s 17 served with a slice of juicy pineapple. At 55.5% the standard had been set for the next two whiskys. For those of you who are fans of the Hawaiian pizza – this one is for you.
Whisky Number 5: The Glenlivet 21 – served with salami and olives – match made in heaven. The smokiness of the whisky with the meat created a sneaky little foxtrot on the taste-buds as it made its way down
Whisky Number 6: This whisky – the Aberlour A’Bunadh coming in at 60.2% this little number was served with a chocolate cornflake biscuit treat – delicious – my favourite and ended up coming home with me!
A little giggly and filled with the spirits of the evening (both alcoholic and emotionally); Katherine and I sauntered off into Soho for dinner accompanied by our new fellow Whisky connoisseurs, Katie and Fran, to continue what turned out to be quite a wonderful evening
A thank you to the Soho Whisky House, Zoe and also my friends at Campbell-Bell for putting together such a perfect evening www.campbell-bell.com