When I first started drinking whisky, I found myself regularly surrounded by whisky snobs. Some were Scotch single malt purists, others were Irish and bourbon drinkers.
Myself? I’m an explorer. I think to understand what each distiller has done with their unique ingredients and this ancient method of making spirit. Like comparing Van Gogh to Monet, or your kid’s kindergarten paintings on the refrigerator door – no one method of whisky is uniquely better than any other. You might prefer one to the other but it shouldn’t stop you enjoying the way each artist creates an expression.
So when it comes to whisky, the global story of this spirit is a fascinating one and what I’m going to explore in my tasting. The way whisky changes as we travel through time and continents to enjoy each style’s unique character.
Why? Because like any craft, distilling and aging is an organic and evolutionary process. So understanding how different cultures, methods and available technology can influence the outcome is just plain fun. And then there is the history. On Wednesday, we’ll talk about the monks who brought whisky to Scotland and talk about the differences and changes that happened between what the Irish brought and the Scots kept.
I’m also really excited to talk about Few Spirits – a modern distillery based in the heart of Prohibition, Evanston Illinois. Nearly a century-old Prohibition laws were overturned by the master distiller to see this distillery open and they are making award-winning whiskies in a truly craft style. We’ll taste their Rye, which balances sweetness and spice in a beautiful way.
Wednesday 30 August
A stunning lineup of whiskies from around the world
Irish | Scotch | Japanese | Bourbon | Rye | Islay
Open to anyone, this tasting will take you on a global tour of the whisky story from how Irish monks escaping the Nordic invaders first took their distilling methods to Scotland and how the Americans secured a great secondhand trade in bourbon barrels as the spirit traversed the globe. I’ve chosen some of my very favourite old and modern malts to demonstrate the remarkable ways the one spirit has been interpreted in so many places, some rich with tradition and others bursting with innovation.